Former Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair and former Travancore Devaswom Board President G Raman Nair were among the five leaders who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Kerala on Saturday, reported The News Minute. The Congress had recently suspended Raman Nair after he attended a BJP event in Pathanamthitta.

The others were former Women’s Commission member Prameela Devi, Janata Dal (Secular) district vice-president Karakulam Divakaran Nair, and Thomas John from the Malankara Church. BJP President Amit Shah welcomed the new members into the party at an event in Thiruvananthapuram.

“I have been working for the BJP for quite some time now but yesterday, Amit Shahji formally inducted me to the party,” said Madhavan Nair. “I am interested in Modiji’s philosophy of developing India. That’s why I want to work with the BJP.”

Former Director General of Police TP Senkumar, members of the erstwhile Pandalam royal family Sasikumara Varma and Narayana Varma, and former National Minorities Commission member John Joseph also met Shah, The New Indian Express reported. The Pandalam family are the custodians of the hill shrine of Sabarimala in Kerala, the site of recent protests against allowing women of all ages entry to the temple.

The Pandalam family members gave Shah a memorandum explaining the incidents that happened at Sabarimala last week, reported Mathrubhumi.

At the inauguration ceremony of a new district committee office in Kannur, Shah on Saturday warned that his party’s workers will uproot the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala if it continues to arrest Ayyappa devotees who protested against women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple. Shah asked courts to issue “practical instructions to governments”.

Shah accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government of conspiring against temples. “They have created an emergency-like situation in Kerala,” he said.