Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 24 (IANS) Buoyed by impressive showing in recent local body polls, BJP leaders in Kerala on Thursday chalked out plans to win the 2021 Assembly elections, even as the party has gone into social engineering mode to broaden its base in the southern state.
The BJP’s core committee held its meeting at Kochi from Thursday morning till evening. BJP leader CP Radhakrishnan, incharge of Kerala state unit, told the media that participants in the meeting had come out with clear-cut plans to ensure the 2021 victory.
“The BJP is the only party to gain votes in local body polls in Kerala. In more than 25 Assembly constituencies, our party gained more than 30,000 votes. The BJP will now primarily focus on these 25 segments, apart from another 40 constituencies,” he added.
The BJP leaders also discussed the recent strategy of the party’s national leadership to arrange a dialogue between various Christian denominations in Kerala with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January.
Former state BJP President PS Sreedharan Pillai, presently the Governor of Mizoram, is engaging various Christian denominations. The support of Christian clergy will be important for the BJP, particularly in central Kerala, to make significant electoral gains.
A former state BJP chief privy to such discussions said: “The BJP is in a social engineering mode. The party leadership will meet with various social groups and communities, including powerful Nair Service Society and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) leadership, and various SC/ST and OBC groups before mid-January. If needed, the Prime minister will directly communicate with these leaders to seek their support.”
The BJP is now seriously focusing on the Christian community and with Muslim Youth League leader Munavar Ali Shihab Thangal expressing support on the Hagia Sofia Mosque issue in an article in party mouthpiece Chandrika, the Christian community is allegedly getting estranged from the United Democratic Front.
The local body elections indicated a clear drubbing for the UDF in central Travancore, hitherto a fief of the UDF.
A senior BJP leader who participated in the core committee meeting said: “We have ironed out most differences with the Christian community in Kerala. It will open the floodgates of support for the BJP. We will not leave any stone unturned for the party’s sake.”
Meanwhile, party leaders like Shobha Surendran who kept away from local body elections faced strong criticism at the core committee meeting. “Shobha Surendran is a senior party leader, who should have taken responsibility and actively involved herself in the local polls,” her critics said.