Infighting frustrates BJP rule in Pandalam Municipality

The factional war rages between the municipal president and the leader of the parliamentary party

The factional war rages between the municipal president and the leader of the parliamentary party

Nearly two years after making history by single-handedly winning a majority in the city council here, the Bharatiya Janata Party is watching a major crisis in Pandalam, plunging the civic body into administrative paralysis.

Compounding the internal difficulties of the ruling front, a factional war is raging between City Speaker Susheela Santosh and BJP parliamentary party leader KV Prabha. Despite the dismay expressed by the BJP leadership at the factional jostling, both sides appear unwilling to declare a détente in the interests of the party.

The unrest in the BJP, which has 18 council seats, emerged last month when the faction led by Mr Prabha staged a protest against the city clerk to disrupt an emergency council meeting. The raging clash, however, reached a flashpoint earlier this month following a shouting match that erupted between the president and Mr Prabha inside the council chambers. municipal.

With video of the altercation going viral on social media, the episode also sparked protests from the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front, turning every council meeting into a wet firecracker. Exacerbating the crisis for the ruling front, Radhakrishnan Unnithan, a CPI(M) rebel who had sided with the BJP until recently, has returned to the LDF fold.

Attempts by the BJP leadership, including that of State Chairman K. Surendran, to find a way out of the crisis have yet to bear fruit. The Ms Santosh-led faction, meanwhile, also drew ire from the BJP leadership for abstaining from a consensus meeting on August 5 and has now received show cause notices for the same.

When contacted, BJP District Chairman VA Sooraj chose not to comment at this time. “Now is not the right time to make a comment. We will come back to the press on Tuesday,” he said.

Sources, however, said the president’s faction had the strong support of the RSS leadership and therefore remained unfazed. “It was a long time coming, since the appointment of Ms. Santosh – a rookie, as president,” said a BJP adviser, on condition of anonymity.

Although it used a strong presence in and around, the BJP was pushed into third place in the municipality in previous assembly elections. The bubbling unrest within the party also prompted a handful of its activists to switch sides to the CPI(M).

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