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George upset with Kerala BJP, fissures widen in NDA

George upset with Kerala BJP, fissures widen in NDA

Kottayam: The Kerala chapter of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) received a jolt on Friday when seven-time legislator P.C. George, the leader of its newest ally Kerala Janapaksham (Secular), came out openly against the state BJP, saying he cannot say how long his party would be in the NDA.

George's response came a day after the BJP failed to make any impact in the bypolls to five Assembly seats in Kerala, the results of which came out on Thursday.

"I fail to understand what's wrong with the BJP's Kerala unit. All political parties field candidates to win elections, but this party fields candidates to lose the polls, as was evident in the five Assembly bypolls," a peeved George told the media.

The BJP finishing a distant third in the Vatiyoorkavu Assembly constituency in the state capital came as a surprise as it had finished a close second in the two previous polls.

George (68), often referred to as the "rolling stone" in Kerala politics, joined the NDA in April with much fanfare. He had also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah a few times.

However, barely a few months later George has now come out against the BJP's Kerala unit.

"In the 2016 Assembly polls, BJP's K. Surendran lost by a margin of just 89 votes from Manjeswaram. But instead of contesting from the same constituency in the recent bypolls, he went to Konni and finished third. I really fail to understand what are they up to," George said.

The NDA in Kerala includes Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), Kerala Congress (Thomas), Lok Jana Shakthi, Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) and a few other small parties.

Having started his political career as a Congress member, George has moved across different factions of the Kerala Congress, formed his own Kerala Congress only to disband it before recently forming the Kerala Janapaksham (Secular).

He joined the NDA in April, after negotiating with both the Left and the Congress-led UDF, who said they were not interested in him.

The BDJS also does not share the best of relations with the state BJP unit and its chairman Tushar Vellapally had made it very clear to them that they were not interested in contesting the Aroor Assembly bypoll.

The BJP has just one MLA in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.

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