In what could be a big catch for the BJP from Kerala, expelled Congress leader AP Abdullakutty held discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the Parliament House on Monday.
The 52-year-old former Congress MLA told reporters in New Delhi that he came to congratulate the prime minister on his re-election and to tell him personally that he would support all his development initiatives. He confirmed that both the prime minister and the home minister invited him to join the BJP.
“But I need some time to think about this. I will let you know soon,” he told reporters.
Abdullakutty, who served as the Congress MLA from Kannur between 2011 and 2016, was expelled last month from the party after he praised the prime minister for his development ideas and called him a ‘Gandhian’ in a Facebook post. He also asked party leaders and workers to do deep soul-searching for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. His remarks did not go down well with the party’s state leadership who sent him a show cause notice and later removed him as his response to it was deemed unsatisfactory.
Incidentally, Abdullakutty, who was a member of the CPM till 2009 and represented the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency twice between 1999 and 2009, was also expelled from the CPM after he praised the Gujarat model of development then.
With a major restructuring expected in the BJP’s Kerala unit after the party’s rout in the state, Abdullakutty could be handed a top post in the organisation and given charge of the Malabar region where the party has not been able to make inroads. There are also reports that he could even be fielded as the party nominee from Manjeswaram, a constituency up for bye-election after the demise of the sitting MLA there. The seat fell out of the party’s reach by a razor thin margin of 89 votes in the 2016 Assembly elections when K Surendran of the BJP lost to IUML candidate PB Abdul Razak.