Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP campaign on the Sabarimala issue has lost steam following the government crackdown on the protestors at the hill shrine and the absence of any young women venturing out to worship there. BJP state president P. S. Sreedharan Pillai is also at the receiving end over the conduct of the agitation. He has faced flak from his party colleagues over the way general secretary K. Surendran has been put behind the bars in different cases.
But Mr Sreedharan Pillai may be a relieved man with Mr P.C. George of Kerala Janapaksham joining hands with Mr O. Rajagopal in the Assembly to protect the devotees' rights.
Mr Surendran had not kept Mr Pillai in the loop when the latter protested at Sabarimala. The four state general secretaries were supposed to act under the orders of Mr Pillai. When Mr Surendran was arrested and detained in the Kottarakara sub-jail, Mr Pillai had said that he had dug his own grave. Later, Mr Surendran was granted bail in a 2016 case in Kannur. Currently, he is lodged in Poojappura central jail after he told the court that there would be a threat to his life if he was kept in Kannur central jail.
"The BJP's protests have taken a back seat. Sreedharan Pillai was upset with Surendran for going it alone. We can waylay the ministers and further intensify our protests, but we need the permission from the party president first," said a senior BJP leader.
Mr Pillai on Wednesday asked the LDF government to stop harassing Mr Surendran. He has called a meeting of party general secretaries in Ernakulam on Thursday to plan the next round of protests.
Meanwhile, the four-member MP team formed by national president Amit Shah to get a report on the ramifications of the Supreme Court verdict allowing young women to enter Sabarimala will seek the views of the people, devotees and other stakeholders on December 1 and 2.
Mr Pillai said that the central leadership will decide as per the recommendations of the four- member team.