Kottayam: RSS ideologue R Balashankar on Tuesday declined to comment on the BJP's poor performance in the recently concluded Kerala Assembly polls.
Balashankar, former convener of BJP’s intellectual cell and former editor of RSS mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ had stirred a controversy ahead of the polls, alleging a suspected BJP-CPM deal in Kerala. He said the deal denied him the opportunity to contest from Chengannur seat in Pathanamthitta district.
“I am not responding to anything. All others are commenting. Since I am with the BJP, I will have to talk about the party. Hence I am not commenting,” he told Manorama Online.
He smiled when asked of Pinarayi Vijayan-led government winning a second consecutive term. Balashankar had earlier alleged that the secret pact between BJP-CPM would be over Chengannur, Aranmula and Konni. He had alleged that the BJP would help CPM win Chengannur and Aranmula, while the communist party would return the favour in Konni.
While Saji Cherian and Veena George of the CPM won Chengannur and Aranmula, respectively, BJP state president K Surendran ended up third in Konni.
Balashankar had hoped to contest from Chengannur, but the BJP fielded its district president M V Gopakumar in the constituency. Cherian won by a margin of 32,093 votes, while Gopakumar could win only 34,620 votes. In 2016, BJP’s P S Sreedharan Pillai had garnered 42,682 votes.
Balashankar had earlier said that the BJP state leadership lacked magnanimity, maturity and culture.
“The contemptuous behaviour of (Union minister of state) V Muraleedharan and K Surendran, who I know for years, is symptomatic of the ailment that has gripped BJP. Those who won’t even get party votes are made candidates. I have been a member of several important committees of the BJP and the co-convener of the party’s national training programme. I have been functioning out of the party headquarters for seven years. Still, I have been viewed as an unwanted guest and insulted,” he had said.
Balashankar’s silence, barring a smirk possibly revealing his mind, comes at a time BJP is facing growing factional feuds sparked by the drubbing at the polls. The central leadership has already prohibited all from making public statements, in a bid to prevent the party’s internal issues going out of hand.
The State leaders were also forced to check the poll statistics to respond to the chief minister’s allegation of a secret BJP-UDF pact to trade votes. Party president Surendran came out with a response later on Tuesday.
Incidentally, the BJP’s votes decreased even in constituencies where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other star campaigners had visited. The party had expected to increase its vote share by 20 per cent. Even after the polling, BJP expected to win 18 per cent.
Shattering the BJP’s hopes, it could win only 12.47 per cent votes, 4.29 lakh down from what it had garnered in 2016. Meanwhile, LDF and UDF won more votes.