Thiruvananthapuram: In wake of the controversy over his support to the Kerala government’s resolution against the Central farm laws, veteran BJP leader O. Rajagopal, who is the lone party legislator in the Assembly, on Thursday contended that the Speaker did not properly ask on the support and opposition to the measure.
Rajagopal, who was a Minister of State for Railways, Defence and Parliamentary Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, held that he had opposed the resolution strongly within the house and that the Speaker did not ask specifically as to who were supporting and who all were opposing it.
However, interacting with journalists in the Assembly’s media room earlier in the day, he said that he had supported the resolution against the farm acts owing to the consensus in the house.
His stand has evoked a strong reaction from the party and its supporters, though party leaders declined to comment on the issue till they seek his account.
BJP state President K. Surendran told media persons at Thodupuzha that he was not aware of the position taken by Rajagopal and that we would revert after studying it. BJP state General Secretary M.T. Ramesh said that he had not expected the veteran leader to support the resolution, and would respond after hearing him.
With the BJP in a corner over the position taken by the veteran leader, several leaders have come out against him in private.
A senior party leader, who did not want to be named, said: “BJP is a party which is struggling to get a foothold in state. However with this one statement, Rajagopal has taken our cause several steps backwards.”
Even after Rajagopal’s clarification, several leaders in the party as well as cadres are not willing to buy his argument.
Ramesh Menon of Palakkad who is an ardent RSS-BJP worker for the past several years told IANS: “Rajagopalji is a senior leader. What message is he giving to the general public of the state by supporting a resolution moved by the state government against the Union government?
“The party must act immediately and ask him to put in his papers,” he demanded.
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