BJP ups the ante against Kerala Govt

P. Sreekumaran

A frustrated BJP has upped the ante against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the state.
The reasons for the BJP’s frustration are not difficult to guess. The much-hyped Sabarimala agitation is once again losing steam. True, the agitation received a new lease of life thanks to a political blunder by the Pinarayi government. But the BJP-RSS is finding it difficult to sustain the momentum. It is against this backdrop that the saffron camp has turned up the heat on the LDF government.
The first salvo was fired by BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai, who saw a ‘golden opportunity’ in the Sabarimala issue to expand the party’s base in the state. Party MP Nishikant Dube followed it up by raising the issue in the Lok Sabha. The demand was simple: intervene in Kerala to end what the party called ‘unremitting violence’ against the BJP-RSS cadres and leaders.
Taking the cue from Dube, State BJP leaders like general secretary MT Ramesh have started to threaten the LDF government openly. It is not all that difficult to use Article 356 against the LDF government, thundered an unusually combative Ramesh the other day. The message was loud and clear: stop the violence against the party cadres or be prepared to face the consequences.
As if all this was not enough, governor P. Sadasivam piled on the pressure by demanding a report from the chief minister. The governor’s action came after a directive from Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
The chief minister has since submitted his report backed up by video clips, audio clips and photographic evidence of widespread violence indulged in by the Hindutva brigade. The burden of the CM’s song was that it is the BJP-RSS combine which unleashed violence in the wake of the successful entry of two young women into the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala. The BJP cadres literally went berserk singling out the media personnel, especially women reporters.
Understandably, the violence proved counter-productive. It alienated a substantial section of the people who were otherwise sympathetic to the saffron camp’s cause. The BJP’s charge that it was government-sponsored violence failed to carry conviction with the highly enlightened people of the state, who saw through the sinister BJP game: unleash widespread violence and then clamour for the ouster of the only communist government in the country.
It is the failure of this strategy that has forced the Hindutva forces to change their tactics. Believing that the time has come to openly seek the ouster of the Pinarayi government on the ground of a ‘complete law and order breakdown in the state,’ the battery of BJP leaders have gone into an overdrive. Thus began the orchestrated campaign for the dismissal of the LDF government.
The political mercury is all set to soar with the impending visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to Kerala soon with the Kerala government equally determined to frustrate the BJP-RSS design. (IPA)

Monday, 21 January, 2019