Kerala BJP's Mizoram connection triggers curiosity

 P S Sreedharan Pillai. Wikipedia photo

The elevation of Kerala BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai to the post of Mizoram Governor has triggered speculation about the connection between the two, as Pillai is the second BJP state president in a row to be elevated to Mizoram governor post.

Kummanam Rajasekharan, who preceded Pillai as Kerala BJP president, was made the Mizoram governor May 2018. Rajasekharan quit the post earlier this year, to contest in the Lok Sabha election from Thiruvananthapuram against Congress' Shashi Tharoor.

With both Kummanam and Sreedharan Pillai's elevation to post of Mizoram governor being seen as a punitive action, social media trollers were even asking if the posting in Mizoram was a correctional home for BJP leaders from Kerala.

Failure to contain intense factionalism, which adversely affected the party's hope of winning seats in the Kerala election, could be the key reason for the untimely removal of Pillai after hardly 14 months.

Pillai's removal came a day after the party's dismal performance in the Kerala Assembly bypolls. Even as the party had a high chance of winning two seats, where it came second in the previous elections, it failed to field the candidates with a chance of winning due to the intense lobbying by various groups within the party.

Kummanam Rajasekharan, who came second at Vattiyoorkavu Assembly segment in Thiruvananthapuram with around 50,000 votes in the last two polls, was denied a seat this time. Party's Thiruvananthapuram president S Suresh, who was fielded, could get only around 27,000 votes and came in third place.

The denial of Manjeswaram seat in Kasargod to party state general secretary K Surendran, who lost by just 89 votes in 2016, also triggered strong resentment. Ravish Thantri Kuntar, who was fielded at Manjeswaram, lost by 10,000 votes.

K Surendran front runner

BJP state general secretary K Surendran is one of the front runners to the state president post, while Kummanam Rajasekharan may be given a position at the national level in the party.

Party sources said that Surendran's impressive performance in the previous elections, leading the Sabarimala stir and his comparatively young age, factors in his favour. Party's stage general secretaries M T Ramesh and Sobha Surendran are the other probables.

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