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KERALA: Kerala NDA in trouble after sulking BDJS threatens to walk out

A miffed BDJS has decided not to field its candidate in Aroor assembly bypoll, set for Oct 21. BJP said it will contest the seat in Alappuzha district after BDJS pulled out. The two allies have indulged in blame game over the loss in Pala bypoll

assembly-elections Updated: Sep 28, 2019 23:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram:
BJP allied with BDJS in Kerala in 2016 aiming to broaden its base in the southern state
BJP allied with BDJS in Kerala in 2016 aiming to broaden its base in the southern state (HT PHoto/Representative)
         

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) appeared to be in trouble in Kerala after one of its main constituent, the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political party floated by the backward Ezhava community, threatened to walk out of the fledgling coalition.

A miffed BDJS has decided not to field its candidate in Aroor assembly bypoll, set for Oct 21. BJP said it will contest the seat in Alappuzha district after BDJS pulled out. BDJS had polled 26,000 votes in Aroor in 2016 assembly elections.

The rift between the allies was quite visible in Pala bypoll, won by the ruling Left Democratic Front candidate Mani C Kappan. The BJP candidate N Hari got only 18,000 votes this time against the 25,000 he had polled in 2016. The party blamed the poor performance on alleged non-cooperation by the BDJS. The BDJS retorted by saying the NDA turns active only during the poll and big brother BJP never consulted it before important decisions.

“Though the NDA is ruling at the Centre, the BDJS never got its due. Many promises were made to us. I was asked to shift to Wayanad to contest against the former president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi. The party rank and file is upset,” said BDJS president Thushar Vellapally.

The current development follows allegations that BJP didn’t help Vellapally when he was jailed for a week in Dubai in a cheque-bounce case last month. His father Vellapally Natesan had thanked the CPM for helping his son and not the BJP. However, Vellapally had cleared the air by saying that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with Union government and many others helped him get out. Though the son is in the BJP camp, the father has always supported the CPI (M).

As the relations soured, the BJP said all issues will be sorted out soon. “The BDJS is an active member of the NDA. We haven’t got any information about its decision to not contest in Aroor. Differences, if any, will be ironed out soon,” party state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said. The saffron party had aligned with the BDJS in 2016 with an aim to broaden its base in the southern state.

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 23:02 IST

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