Updated: June 15, 2021 3:05:18 pm
A report on Kerala BJP, which is under the hawala allegation cloud, has been submitted to the “competent authority”, said retired civil servant C V Ananda Bose. Bose’s confirmation on the existence of a report on the state of affairs in Kerala unit of the BJP comes a day after the party officially denied it.
“The party has not asked for a report. I have given my views to the competent authority who sought it. Nothing less, nothing more,” Bose told The Indian Express.
On June 7, The Indian Express had reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked three former bureaucrats–Bose, Jacob Thomas and E Sreedharan–to submit a report after talking to various leaders and candidates on funds sent from the central BJP to the state unit ahead of the just-concluded elections. At least one of them had confirmed to The Indian Express that the report has been submitted.
But Kerala BJP President K Surendran has repeatedly maintained that it was a “hoax” and no such report existed. On Monday, in a press note issued by the BJP, General Secretary Arun Singh said: “We have observed certain news reports and statements by individuals about a team deployed by the central party to review the party’s performance in recently held Kerala state assembly elections. We would like to categorically state that the central leadership of BJP has not deployed any such teams. We have our in-built robust feedback mechanisms for review and reports. Neither we have deployed any team nor asked for any reports.”
But Bose has now confirmed that a “competent authority” had asked for the report and that he has given it to the same. At least three leaders in Kerala BJP have told The Indian Express that they were asked to give their views on the state of affairs of the party.
Sources said Bose has submitted a report to PM Modi on the BJP’s debacle BJP in the recently concluded assembly elections and the way forward. The party leadership has been flooded with complaints of partisan stand taken by the official faction led by Surendran in the state and demands of change of leadership in the faction-ridden unit after its humiliating performance in the recent Assembly polls. The BJP has lost its lone seat in the assembly, Nemam, to the CPI-M and its vote share has plummeted to 11.30 per cent from 14.46 per cent in 2016 assembly polls.
The top leadership’s move to seek a report from the former bureaucrats, seen as not part of any faction within the state unit, is significant as B L Santosh, General Secretary (Organisation), is in charge of the state affairs. At the office bearers meeting held earlier this month, it was Santosh who presented the report to the party in the presence of BJP president J P Nadda.
Kerala BJP was left red-faced after the state police launched a probe against its leaders in connection with a highway robbery of Rs 3.5 crore that is suspected to be “unaccounted election funds.” Police had questioned some of the senior leaders as well as Surendran’s personal aide in the case.
Things became worse for Surendran after a leader of Janathipathya Rashtriya Sabha claimed her party’s chief C K Janu, a prominent tribal leader, had demanded Rs 10 crore from Surendran and finally settled for Rs 10 lakh, to return to NDA. The leader who made the accusation has released audio clips of the conversation purportedly done by Surendran. However, Surendran has denied the allegations.
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