As part of its electoral understanding with Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a prominent Ezhava outfit in Kerala, the BJP has decided to accommodate the organisation’s head, Vellappally Natesan, in the proposed commission for micro-finance for backward communities. BJP sources said Natesan will be made the vice-chairman of the proposed commission, which will be formed under the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment before the forthcoming Assembly elections in Kerala. According to sources, Natesan will get minister of state rank as vice-chairman of the panel.
On Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah held discussions with party’s state chief, Kummanam Rajasekharan, and Natesan’s son Thushar Vellappally. Thushar is the president of recently launched Ezhava party, the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).
Sources added that the move will also help Natesan battle allegations of diverting micro-finance funds taken by the SNDP from the Kerala State Backward Development Corporation.
“The party is aware of the allegation faced by Natesan over micro-financing. We would consider it only as a case pending against a leader. Such cases are common against political leaders,’’ said BJP sources.
The party, sources claimed, was also in touch with leaders of the upper-caste Nair community and Christian churches, particularly the Catholic denomination. “The party has sought a wish list from the community leaders. The BJP is ready to meet their demands if they are ready to support the party,’’ sources said.
Last week, Law Minister Sadananda Gowda met Cardinal George Alanchery, who heads the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church — the largest segment among Christian churches in Kerala. Sources said that the Cardinal has put forward four demands: support price for rubber, relaxation in the Coastal Regulation Zone rules affecting fishermen, not implementing the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats and accommodating pro-Christian party Kerala Congress (M)’s MP Jose K Mani as MoS in the Union Cabinet.