Operation Idukki: BJP’s call to action for trapping other party leaders in Kerala

Exploring the BJP's Calculated Moves to Expand Influence and Shake Political Dynamics in Kerala's Idukki Region

In a tactical maneuver, ‘Operation Idukki’ was initiated by the BJP national leadership along with its senior leaders from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Capturing S. Rajendran, a former MLA for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM], was the primary goal of this operation. The objective is to increase the party’s clout in the hilly Idukki region. BJP has historically found it challenging to establish a presence in the hilly areas of Kerala.

BJP’s Strategic Approach

The main objective of ‘Operation Idukki’ was to identify key figures among the plantation workers in the Idukki district. Realizing the potential of the area, BJP politicians from Tamil Nadu and Kerala collaborated to carry out this plan. Although the BJP first targeted Congress leaders, it then turned its attention to Rajendran. The former CPM MLA served as Devikulam’s representative for 15 years from 2006 to 2021.

Rajendran confirmed that a national leader of the BJP in Tamil Nadu approached him. PK Krishnadas, a prominent BJP leader from Kerala who spearheaded the talks, acknowledged his team was indeed responsible for initiating contact with Rajendran. Krishnadas hinted that Rajendran’s account of events is likely accurate.

For the past month, BJP leaders have been in communication with Rajendran, initially through phone calls and later through in-person visits to his home. Tamil Nadu BJP leaders even visited Rajendran’s residence on multiple occasions under secrecy. During the initial discussions, Rajendran remained somewhat guarded, entertaining the possibility of rejoining the CPM if his suspension was lifted.

His recent trip to Thiruvananthapuram, where he sought assurances from MV Govindan and returned hopelessly. Upon his return, PK Krishnadas maintained phone communication to update Rajendran’s prospects of rejoining the CPM, which was still being decided. Rajendran had initially hoped for CPM leadership’s swift action to accept him back into the party. But as his efforts are nearing hopelessness, local BJP leaders in Idukki hope Rajendran will join them soon. BJP leaders exercised extreme caution to keep the matter as confidential as possible to prevent any intervention from CPM.

Ambitious Plans Ahead

However, the BJP’s ambitions extend beyond merely recruiting leaders. The next step involves attracting influential individuals from various sectors to join the party’s ranks. Believers think Rajendran had a limited impact on the plantation sector.

On the other end, the state leadership of the BJP has opposed granting a seat to Padmaja, citing her lack of widespread influence. The BJP’s new strategy involves bringing workers and leaders from areas where the party has traditionally struggled to establish a presence.

BJP’s Expansion Strategy

After Idukki, the party set its sights on the Wayanad seat on which Rahul Gandhi was contesting. The suggestion is to maximize the recruitment of leaders and activists from other parties in Wayanad. In this constituency, the BJP has minimal influence. Additionally, the national leadership has directed the party to expand its influence in Ernakulam. The BJP believes its prospects are more favorable in the emerging IT hub compared to Idukki and Wayanad.

BJP leaders have confirmed that the party leadership is in touch with numerous individuals across various organizations. PK Krishnadas reiterates that the BJP’s doors are open not just to Congress and CPM members but also to leaders and activists from other parties and fronts. Interestingly, Krishnadas suggests that more leaders may join the BJP after the election than ever before, adding an element of surprise to the party’s strategy. Political observers warn that if the BJP’s maneuvers achieve their intended target, the CPM, along with the Congress, will need to exercise caution.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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