The Sabarimala issue appears to have ‘blessed’ BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai with controversies. The latest of Pillai's utterances may force impatient party members go to astrologers to lay their cowrie shells to trace the party MP who 'leaked’ the video of his latest speech. Or else it will be a wait till the “party will take care of that MP” as 'prophesied’ by the leader.
Pillai told the media that he knew who had leaked the video and the party “would take care of that MP”. Pillai applied a ‘sudden brake’ there and divulged nothing further. He must have felt that the enemy is within the party and he need not court further controversy.
His address to the Yuva Morcha in Kozhikode recently saw him wax on Sabarimala protests being a party agenda. He admitted the party saw political advantage and so was taking forward the protests. He even said the Sabarimala tantri had told him about a police move to escort two young women to Sabarimala. Pillai advised him to close the temple and allayed fears of it being seen as contempt of court, promising that BJP was stood by him.
But, when the video of his speech was leaked, the party was embarrassed. But since the temple opened for a day on November 5, party workers joined the protest and succeeded in ensuring that no woman in the 10-50 age groups made it to the shrine. And so Pillai was saved.
Sensing growing divide in what is supposed to be a monolithic party structure on lines of its foe CPIM, over his declaration of ‘political agenda’ under guise of protecting faith, Pillai fired his salvo of an MP leaking the video.
Groups huddled together to check different names of party MPs with a Kerala connection - actor Suresh Gopi, V Muralidharan or Asianet managing director Rajiv Chandrasekhar.
A week before, he gave a harthal call in Pathanamthitta over the death of an Ayyappa devotee whose body was found near the forests. Some from the groups furnished him false dates when the devotee went missing much after the police action based on which the harthal call was made. But politically his party was able to make the harthal a 'success’.
Pillai treads cautiously as he was a surprise choice for the post when Kummanam Rajasekharan was kicked up as Governor of Sikkim. Pillai already had had a not so great term as state president. Leaders like MT Ramesh and K Surendran were in the last lap of the race. Suddenly, the central leadership has given the baton to Pillai and with that the wedge was driven.
But the party leadership is confused as to who that ‘anti-Pillai’ MP is. If Pillai or the astrologers fail to reveal, one will have to wait for the leader to take action, going by his promise that the MP 'would be taken care of’.