After coming in for severe criticism, the state unit of the BJP is organising a grand reception for new Minister of State (Independent) Tourism, IT and Electronics K.J. Alphons on Sunday.
For the state BJP leadership, the swearing in of Alphons, overlooking the claims of several state BJP leaders, came as a shock. When Alphons was sworn in last Sunday, the state party headquarters here wore a deserted look with no celebrations and no leader of any consequence present. This act came under severe criticism from several quarters.
A statement issued here on Friday by state BJP president Kummanem Rajasekheran said he will be at the Kochi airport on Sunday when Alphons arrives in the state for the first time after being sworn in.
The state BJP leadership is organising its first reception on Sunday at Moovattupuzha. It has planned nine roadshows from there to his home town in Kanjirapally in Kottayam.
“On September 1, there will be a reception at Kannur when he arrives for a private visit. The next day he will take part in a temple function at Kottayam. On 15th, there will be a civic reception in his home town, followed by a meeting with various bishops. On 16th, in the state capital, there will be a reception and he will depart the same day for Delhi,” said Rajasekheran.
The 64-year-old former bureaucrat quit service in 2006 to contest as a Left-supported legislator. Just before his five-year term got over, in 2011, he quit state politics and joined the BJP,
Since then, he has been a national executive member of the party, with Delhi being his place of residence.
Alphons is the second BJP leader from Kerala to become a Minister in an NDA government, with the first being O. Rajagopal, who was a MoS in the A.B. Vajpayee government (1999-2004).