Mizo guv to return to Kerala to helm Sabarimala stir?

Kummanam Rajasekharan

A “fizzling out” Sabarimala agitation has prompted the RSS to look at the return of former state BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan to active politics in Kerala, which he had left seven months ago for Mizoram Raj Bhavan.

Sources said the RSS central leadership has signalled the Centre that it wants Rajasekharan to be relieved from governorship as earlier as possible so that he could helm the Sabarimala agitation, which has faltered due to infighting in the BJP, to maximise electoral benefits in the Lok Sabha elections.

The assessment in the Sangh is that they allowed an “emotive issue” to fizzle out where a section of believers was against the state government decision to implement Supreme Court order on allowing entry of women of 10-50years age group in Sabarimala and could not counter the CPM-led government effectively.

Read also: Sabarimala row: 'women's wall' to greet Kerala new year

They believe Rajasekharan’s return will help them galvanise the right-wing groups as well as caste leaders and Hindu seers with whom he has an excellent relationship.

Rajasekharan’s return will also pave the way for his possible candidature against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency. After his departure for Mizoram, Sangh had toyed with the idea of fielding actor Mohanlal but the talks did not progress, prompting the RSS to return to its initial plan of making Rajasekharan fight from the seat where BJP has a sizeable vote-share.

He was sent to Mizoram at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insistence in May though the state RSS leadership had opposed the move. BJP chief Amit Shah had to face the wrath of state RSS leaders later in a meeting where they minced no words against the decision on Rajasekharan, who was chief of ‘Hindu Aikya Vedi’ and tasked by the RSS to lead the faction-ridden Kerala unit in 2015.

Sources said a decision on Rajasekharan, a prominent Hindutva face in the state, may come after the government formation in Mizoram, which went to Assembly polls on November 28. If there is no hung House in Mizoram, sources said, one could even see a decision of relieving Rajasekharan by mid-December.

The RSS leadership also considered demands from caste group leaders like Nair Service Society chief N Sukumaran Nair that they need someone like Rajasekharan to helm the agitation and coordinate with them. Sukumaran had suggested to senior RSS leaders J Nandakumar and Valsan Tillenkeri when they had a meeting recently about bringing Rajasekharan back.

It was not immediately known whether Rajashekharan would replace P S Sreedharan Pillai, who was appointed state chief in July, in case the senior leader returns. Speculation is rife that he may be appointed NDA chairman in the state and if this happens, the BJP chief who usually heads the coalition ceases to become one.

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