SNDP chief ups the ante against BJP

Report by: 
P. Sreekumaran
25 Mar 2017

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may be in the seventh heaven over its stupendous success in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections. But the party’s plans to consolidate the party have run into more problems in Kerala.
The BJP suffered a severe jolt with its ally, the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena(BDJS) and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), the powerful organization of Ezhavas in the state, upping the ante against it.
BDJS president Tushar Vellappally has made no secret of his displeasure over what he called the failure of the BJP to honour its promises made to him.
It may be mentioned that the BJP had promised to give the BDJS control of a few corporations and other bodies under the control of the Centre. But months have elapsed and the promises have remained unkept. This has angered the BDJS. Hence the latest criticism from its chief, Tushar.
True, Tushar has had a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, who has, it is learnt, assured him of speedy action in this regard. But it remains to be seen whether the BDJS will be mollified by the promise.
However, SNDP general secretary Vellappally Natesan, father of BDJS boss Tushar, has toughened his stance against the BJP with a blistering attack on it in an interview with a leading TVF channel the other day. The BDJS came into being following Vellappally’s decision to float a political wing of the SNDP. 
Natesan turned a scathing tongue against the BJP, which has turned arrogant in the wake of its poll victory in UP and other states. If the party fails to mend its ways, Natesan warned that there is every possibility of the BDJS and SNDP switching their allegiance to other fronts in the state.
The issue has also brought into the open the growing rift between the father and the son. Though Tushar has also been highly critical of the BJP’s attitude towards the BDJS, he has not gone to the extent of hinting at a parting of ways with the BJP.
But the father has clearly mounted pressure on the son with his carping criticism against the BJP. If the BJP makes any further delay in implementation of the promises made to the BDJS, Tushar will come under greater pressure to snap ties with the BJP.   
The immediate test for both the BJP and the BDJS would come in the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency by-election, slated for April 12, which has been necessitated by the death of IUML’s national president E Ahmed.
If Vellappally Natesan’s attitude is any indication, then the BJP candidate is unlikely to get the full support of the SNDP cadres. In fact, Vellappally has gone to the extent of saying that the BJP would suffer a humiliating defeat in the elections.
The State BJP leaders have initiated damage-control steps to mollify an angry Vellappally. But the latter has given no indication that he is in a mood for a forgive-and-forget attitude.
And that, certainly, is bad news for the BJP, which has been making determined efforts to cobble together a viable third alternative political front in the state, dominated by the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-headed United Democratic Front (UDF). (IPA)