No party political untouchable, Natesan says ahead of Kerala polls

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 17 (IANS) Hindu Ezhava leader Vellapalli Natesan, who has been holding talks with the BJP before and after the formation of his Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), on Wednesday said no party was a political untouchable for him ahead of the assembly elections in Kerala.

However, his overture has so far failed to win him potential allies, except for the BJP.

“We held talks with all political fronts, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Left opposition led by Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress-led United Democratic Front. What we are going to do is to follow the principles of opportunistic politics. None of the political fronts are untouchables for us,” Natesan told reporters here on Wednesday.

Natesan, the general secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP), a social movement that propagates the values of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, floated the BDJS political party in December 2015.

Hindus are 1.82 crore of the 3.34 crore population of Kerala, out of which Ezhavas are a majority.

Natesan first announced that the BDJS will be a Hindu party but later said it will be a secular one. He met with BJP national and state leadership in the past. But as the BJP has been playing a waiting game, Natesan has now decided to open up to all political parties.

However, both the Congress and the CPI-M said they were not interested in a political alliance with Natesan.

CPI-M state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that since the BJP alliance Natesan was looking for had reached a dead end, he was now trying to look elsewhere to remain politically afloat.

Former chief minister and CPI-M veteran V.S. Achuthanandan said Natesan should first disclose the name of CPI-M leader he held talks with and only then will he say more on the issue.

Alappuzha district Congress chief A.A. Shukoor said they were not looking forward to associate with Natesan at all.

Only state BJP president Kummanem Rajashekeran showed any interest in Natesan. “Those who are interested in aligning with us should accept the BJP policies and programmes. We are open to Natesan and will have more talks,” Rajashekeran told reporters at the state party headquarters here.

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