When the national BJP president, J P Nadda was visiting Kerala a couple of days back, he had a slew of meetings with people from a cross section of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including state president and numerous office bearers. It is also said that he made it a point to bring truce among some of the state unit, who were at loggerheads with each other.
But that was not an eye turner, if you can use the word. What was a seemingly prize catch for the party, and eye turner was that a former senior bureaucrat, former DGP Jacob George joining the party, in the presence of J P Nadda.
Jacob Thomas is seen as a man of unflinching integrity, by vast sections of the Kerala populace, and someone who could take on the might of the entire state government machinery, including the office of the Chief Minister itself, when he was in the service. In a rather distinguished career, Jacob faced multiple suspensions for taking on the might of the establishment in his home state – once he criticized the states handling of the natural disaster cyclone Ockhi, and next time around, he published his autobiography without the state government’s permission.
He retired in mid 2020, and even his service monetary dues were paid to him after considerable delay by the State government. Reason given was that there was no money in the state exchequer to settle his dues in time.
For questions on whether he will contest the state elections to be held in the next few months, Jacob Thomas has opined that he will go by the decision of the party high command. However, there are whispers that he will be pitted in one of the safe seats for BJP, to make sure that he gets into the next assembly.
While the state unit of the BJP is already fully energized under the leadership of state unit president K Surendran, there are also views across the political spectrum the the former DGP could well be a formidable face of the state units campaign for the assembly elections this year. And given that the former cop is also a great public speaker, it looks like the BJP has another strong weapon it its campaign arsenal.