With internal dissensions rocking the State Bharatiya Janata Party over identifying candidates for three Lok Sabha seats touching a frenetic pitch, moves are afoot to iron out the differences before the parliamentary board meets on March 16 for finalising the list.
Party sources told The Hindu that fixing candidates for Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, and Palakkad continued to be a tall challenge for the State leadership and now moves were on to give the Palakkad segment to the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) and share Thrissur and Pathanamthitta among two prominent leaders who had already staked seat claims. But it remains to be seen whether the BDJS would clinch the deal and run the risk of contesting from a turf where it does not hold much stake.
The latest move comes in the wake of two leaders placing claims for the three seats and also Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) general secretary Vellappally Natesan clarifying that office-bearers of the Yogam would have to demit office on deciding to contest the Lok Sabha election.
This is expected to quell the differences of opinion over the seats within the party and also coerce the BDJS to have a serious candidate, preferably Thushar Vellappally himself, enter the fray. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the State has now been reduced to a front of three constituents, mainly the BJP, the BDJS, and the Kerala Congress faction led by P.C. Thomas.
A decision of the Janadhipatya Samrakshana Samithi faction headed by A.N. Rajan Babu and Janadhipatya Rashtriya Samithi led by tribal leader C.K. Janu to quit had come as a jolt and it has become imperative for the BJP to prove that the front has not lost its relevance. Hence, the move to field a serious BDJS candidate, its principal ally, sources said.
Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leadership is understood to be playing a proactive role to settle the differences by engaging the BDJS leadership and also preparing the candidates list before the March-16 deadline. The Sangh leadership is understood to have wrested control of the election process.