Sobha Surendran falls in line, attends BJP meet

Ten months after falling out with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State leadership, Sobha Surendran, who complained of being downgraded to vice president from general secretary and of ouster from the party’s core committee in the State, attended a party meeting in the presence of party president J.P. Nadda in Thrissur on Thursday.

Ms. Surendran had abstained from campaigning during the local body elections and was in Delhi to apprise the central leadership of her plight. Alongside, a group of district and constituency-level leaders had also protested against being sidelined.

Sources said she was forced to attend the meeting of the 140 Assembly constituency in-charges in Thrissur after being asked by the central leadership to do so. A source said while the issue of her reinduction into the core committee was discussed at a joint meeting of the BJP and RSS core committees in Kochi recently, no final decision was taken on this.

But the party, it was understood, did not want to risk its chances in the forthcoming Assembly elections by keeping her out and therefore, strictly asked her to be present at the meeting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a source said the stand-off between the State leadership and Ms. Surendran was continuing as there was no communication between them.

“We are still plagued by the issue of experienced people being overlooked for personal favourites. The central leadership is aware of this too,” a leader said.

While the party was eager to see Ms. Surendran contest the election, she would choose to stay out, campaigning for select candidates instead. She could also bargain for the Kazhakuttam or Konni seats, according to the source.

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