Veteran BJP leader O Rajagopal’s criticism against Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan for his aggressive stand against Kerala government’s protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act has thrown BJP into a crisis in the State.
The resentment against Rajagopal’s stand is brewing within the rank and file of the party. According to a state leader of the party, the ‘misinformation campaign’ launched by certain parties has isolated BJP in Kerala politics. BJP is in a dilemma as the CAA has been largely interpreted as anti-Muslim in the State, the party is struggling to garner support for the Act passed by the Parliament. At this stage, instead of giving moral support to the Governor, Rajagopal was slamming the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan’s open war against Pinarayi government.
“The governor has been able to expose the ruling party’s move to whip up passions and create a feeling of insecurity among the minorities. The BJP should give moral support to the governor who is being targeted unfairly. As the lone representative of the party in the state assembly O Rajagopal has a moral responsibility to defend the party and the governor. However, his words have confused the party workers,” said a party leader.
Though senior leaders were quick to launch a firefighting operation, terming the nonagenarian leader’s comment as an offer to mediate between the chief minister and Governor, the party workers refuse to accept the argument. Pointing out Rajagopal’s reluctance to vote against the resolution passed by the Kerala Assembly on December 31, a section of leaders opined that it exposed the lack of coordination between the party and the MLA.
“Somebody should have asked the MLA to vote against the resolution and stall the move to present it as a unanimous resolution at the national level. The MLA also could have sought the party’s opinion on the stand to be taken in the assembly’” said party leader P Sivasankaran.
However, party state secretary B Gopalakrishnan support O Rajagopal’s offer to mediate between the Governor and the Kerala Government. Gopalakrishnan said that the move will expose the ruling CPIM’s lack of interest in resolving the issue. “O Rajagopal is the most respected leader in Kerala and he reminded that the Chief Minister and the Governor should understand their limits and work accordingly. As he was offering to mediate he did not take sides. We don’t find anything wrong in his statement,” he said.