Did Sreedharan Pillai's secret report nail Kerala BJP leadership for poll fiasco?

K Surendran at the BJP election committee office
K Surendran at the BJP election committee office in Paivalike. Photo TA Ameerudheen

Reeling from its rout in the recent Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party's state leadership is in the dock after a secret report put the onus of the fiasco at its doors.

The report, prepared by former BJP state unit president and Mizoram Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, accuses the leaders of putting forth their personal interests over the party.

Despite suffering one of the biggest defeats, Congress has begun implementing corrective measures. Yet, the BJP remains complacent, as per the report submitted to the party's central leadership.

He also admitted that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's allegation the party has sold its seats is quite serious.

Pinarayi had said that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP had entered into a secret “vote trade” in at least 90 constituencies in Kerala. 

Pinarayi charged the deal was struck at the “level of the top leadership”.

He said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) won despite this “conspiracy”.

The CPM-led LDF won 99 of the 140 seats to win an unprecedented second term in Kerala's highest office. The UDF was restricted to just 41 seats, seven down from its 2016 tally. The BJP, which had won its first and lone seat in the state in 2016, drew a blank.

The BJP failed to retain its lone seat, Nemom and lost 4.29 lakh votes and its vote percentage dipped drastically.

The Nemom debacle is more a worry for the BJP, as the constituency gave the saffron party its first legislator when O Rajagopal won in  2016.

It also failed to romp home in Palakkad and Thrissur, where the party hoped to win, riding on the popularity of E Sreedharan and Suresh Gopi respectively.

While the BJP-led National Democratic Front (NDA) had won a 14.96 per cent vote share in the 2016 Assembly polls, it only managed to get 12.36 per cent in 2021. While BJP eeked 2 lakh more votes, its allies suffered drastically.

This is also a dip from what the BJP had secured in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections (13 per cent).

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