Pathanamthitta: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scouting for a new leader to succeed P S Sreedharan Pillai as its state unit president.
A section of the BJP leaders back party general secretary K Surendran for the post.
Surendran was in contention for the post last time also, but missed by a whisker.
A faction backed by union minister V Muraleedharan is going all out to snatch the key post for Surendran, sources said.
Meanwhile, the P K Krishnadas faction is rooting for M T Ramesh and those backing P S Sreedharan Pillai are rallying for K P Sreeshan.
The BJP central leadership is of the opinion that there is deep-rooted factionalism in the party and
irrespective of who is made the state president, the other groups would not cooperate.
In this scenario, the leadership believes a fresh face should lead the party in the state.
Muraleedharan's clout as a union minister of state might work in favour of Surendran. His faction has to convince the central leadership that promoting Surendran to the top post would be beneficial to the party in Kerala.
Surendran was able to improve the party’s performance in the crucial Pathanamthitta seat in the Lok Sabha polls, by garnering over one lakh votes more than what the party got in 2014.
Former Kerala BJP chief Kummanam Rajasekharan, who lost to Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, could be elevated as the national vice-president of the party.
P K Krishnadas might also be elevated to the central leadership.
Sreedharan Pillai is reportedly being considered for a role in the National Law Commission that would be formed soon.
A governor's post is also being considered for the BJP state unit president.