THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Actor-politician Suresh Gopi, who finally broke BJP’s jinx in LS polls from Thrissur, is likely to become a Union minister in the Narendra Modi govt. But the worry before the party state leadership, amid the jubilation, is the maverick ways of the MP during public interactions and his refusal to publicly own up his party’s ideology.
Though he never crossed swords with the state leadership, Gopi stayed away from BJP’s organizational affairs ever since he joined the party in 2016.He did not hesitate to publicly declare that his first allegiance was to PM Modi and Amit Shah and that he will obey them.
But state leaders feel that their efforts to increase the voter base and widen the party’s acceptance in Thrissur and other constituencies must be acknowledged duly.
Unlike disgruntled leaders, such as Sobha Surendran, Gopi’s cold approach to state unit stems mainly from his failure to fathom the dynamics of party politics and the importance of the organisation, they said.
Of late, what irked the leaders was Gopi’s response to the reception planned for him along with Rajeev Chandrasekhar and V Muraleedharan at BJP state headquarters after the result declaration. Gopi said that people have started adopting an ‘apolitical’ stand and his victory in Thrissur was a testimony to the same.
“We really don’t know whether he used the word ‘apolitical’ after fully understanding its meaning. Hope he did not. I wonder how a person, who is a member of a political party and now a people’s representative, could say so and that too at a function at the party’s state headquarters. It would be a tough task for state leaders to rein in the new Union minister,” said a senior BJP leader.
If Gopi continues his puerile public statements and refuses to publicly endorse the politics of BJP, it could pose serious problems to the state unit. Already, a section of leaders with RSS background are waiting for the emergence of another power centre in the state unit to settle the score with Surendran and Muraleedharan.
Several senior leaders dismissed the possibility of Gopi emerging as a parallel power centre in the party as he had no axe to grind with any leader. They said he isn’t ready to meddle in internal politics. But many pointed out the ominous similarities in the victory of Gopi and former BJP leader O Rajagopal who won Nemom assembly seat in 2016. Rajagopal also tried to project his win as a personal triumph but failed to take care of the constituency. BJP also failed to retain the seat in 2021 assembly election.