Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19 (IANS) The BJP national leadership is conducting a survey in all constituencies of Kerala to pick suitable candidates for the forthcoming Assembly election.
While the BJP currently has only one MLA in the Kerala Assembly – veteran leader O. Rajagopal, the national leadership is bent on getting at least 10 party members elected to the Assembly in the 2021 election.
The BJP leadership, according to sources, has already commissioned a central survey agency to pick the candidates for the Assembly polls or at least provide a shortlist of candidates for each constituency.
While BJP has a vote share of 14 per cent in the state, in around 35 constituencies the party’s vote share was 20 per cent which is worrying both the ruling LDF and the opposition UDF. The recent state committee meeting of the CPM in which the local body election results were studied, the party leaders were of the opinion that the 20 per cent growth of vote share for BJP in certain constituencies has to be studied and countered.
The BJP leadership also knows that it has fared well in certain pockets and the idea of the survey is to get a better report on the prospective candidates and the public response.
BJP state general secretary A.N. Radhakrishnan while speaking to IANS said “It’s a direct operation of the central leadership and we don’t have any idea on this. This is a method BJP has always adopted in all elections across the country.”
There will be several minority faces, especially Christian candidates in the BJP list as the party has been trying to woo the community over several issues where both the groups can identify. The Church, especially the Catholic Church, has been skeptical over the reduced proportion of minority scholarships in Kerala in comparison to the Muslim community.
Also both the Church and the BJP believe that there is a well organised ‘Love Jihad’ conspiracy from a section of Muslim groups to woo Hindu and Christian girls and convert them to Islam. Several Christian girls were converted after marrying Muslim youths and some girls had even left for Afghanistan to be part of the IS terror group in Afghanistan and Syria.
The BJP has also intervened in the tussle between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the Christian community and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lent an ear to the grievances aired by both factions. The Prime Minister is also meeting the heads of the Catholic churches in the state on Tuesday at the PMO.
The survey team is to submit its report to the central leadership by this weekend and after this the party will prepare to announce the candidates’ list in consultation with the RSS state leadership.
BJP state chief K. Surendran told IANS that “BJP is in election mode. We are chalking out winning strategies and will have a sizable presence in the state Assembly.”