Thiruvananthapuram: Notwithstanding the claims made by O Rajagopal that he voted for LDF Speaker candidate P Sreeramakrishnan because of the similarity of his name with RamaKrishna and his charming personality, it is clear that the decision could not have been taken without the consent of party state leadership.
But a section of BJP leaders are upset over Rajagopal’s decision. Those leaders who were trying to defend Rajagopal’s stand saying it was the veteran leader’s personal decision taken as per his conscience, they were struggling to sound convincing. Many found it hard to believe that a national party like the BJP with a strong RSS ideological base, would take the Speaker’s election as a non political event.
Rajagopal’s vote is being seen as a calculated move of the BJP to divert people’s attention from the allegations that it had tied up with the Congress in many constituencies. Besides, it also wants to send across a “false” message that the party is not averse to CPM.
Sources said Rajagopal’s decision may have been with the consent of the leadership, but it has clearly embarrassed the party workers who are fighting pitched battles with the CPM out in the field.
They were not convinced by the BJP veteran’s statement that he voted for LDF as Ramesh Chennithala had categorically stated that the UDF didn’t require his vote. The BJP veteran leader’s courtesy call to AKG Centre to meet Pinarayi Vijayan had also evoked similar sentiments among the workers.
‘Support is based on merit, not politics’
BJP MLA O. Rajagopal has defended his voting in favour of LDF’s Speaker candidate P. Sreeramakrishnan on Friday and said he will continue to vote based on merit and not on politics. “BJP is not anti-communist or anti-Congress but we will stand for ‘dharma.’ Our actions will be issue-based and we will support things that benefit the public. The Speaker should be a person who can view every lawmaker as an equal and I feel Sreeramakrishnan will fit the post better,” Mr Rajagopal, 86, told reporters at the Press Club here.
“Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala had said that he will not need the BJP MLA’s vote. So I was obviously not going to vote for him. I cannot be part of all the blind criticism that the Opposition might use against the government,” he said. The BJP had not opposed Somnath Chatterjee’s candidature when he was named for the Lok Sabha Speaker’s role, he said.
When asked about the ongoing violence in Kannur, which the BJP claims the CPM is unleashing, he said that the CPM-led government should ensure dharma by ending the violence by its own workers.