Police stand guard near barricades as hundreds of BJP supporters protest in Kerala.
The video of a BJP protest rally against Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave rise to much mirth on Twitter today, with many wondering if the party was trolling itself. As part of a statewide protest over the prohibitory orders banning large gatherings around the hill shrine of Sabarimala today, the BJP held a black-flag protest at Alappuzha’s Chengannur — near a spot where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran were scheduled to attend an event. Videos from the spot showed the police standing guard near barricades erected to control the hundreds of BJP supporters.
But the video tweeted by Kerala BJP’s official handle had no such visuals. Titled “Protest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by BJP activists at Chengannur” — it showed two men walking along a deserted street and finally going in different directions. The party is yet to comment on the matter.
As many on twitter poked fun with a bunch of MEMEs, National Conference chief Omar Abdullah too joined in.
Did I miss it when I blinked? https://t.co/LkNX5isrC7
– Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) December 2, 2018
This was massive.
– BaBu (@BabuSaheb90) December 2, 2018
I really had to check if this was a parody account 😀
– Babumoshai (@Bong_in_Delhi) December 2, 2018
The BJP made its debut into the Kerala assembly in 2016, with its candidate O Rajagopal winning the Nemom seat. Since then, the party – the third largest in the state after the CPM and the Congress — has been working hard to expand its footprint in the state.
Today, it has held statewide protests over the prohibitory orders banning large gatherings around the hill shrine of Sabarimala. An eight-member delegation met Governor P Sathasivam and submitted a petition asking that the prohibitory orders be lifted.
Mr Vijayan’s government claims the huge protests at Sabarimala, which had not allowed any woman to get inside the temple, were sponsored by the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS.
The BJP maintained they were people’s protests. The party also questioned the need for stationing 15,000 security personnel at the shrine during its opening last month.
Protests have been raging at Sabarimala since a five-judge bench led by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra passed the order in November, opening the doors of the temple to women of all ages. Women between the ages of 10 and 50 have been traditionally banned from visiting the popular hill shrine.