The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Minister candidate Narendra Modi will be gearing up party machinery in Kerala for the Lok Sabha elections during his two-day visit to the State.
Mr. Modi, who arrives in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday evening, will address a meeting of the office-bearers of the party at 7 p.m. and have interactions with them and others on the Lok Sabha polls.
Party spokesperson V.V. Rajesh told The Hindu that Mr. Modi would be hearing the views of office-bearers on elections and presenting his proposals for the campaign. Ways to strengthen the party machinery for the election campaign would also be discussed.
On Thursday, Mr. Modi is to participate in the 60th birthday celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi at Amritapuri near Kollam. He is likely to visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple here and call on the royal family of Travancore.
In April, the Gujarat Chief Minister had attended a function at Sivagiri Mutt, creating a flutter in the political sphere. It is the BJP’s strategy this time to focus on southern States to make up for deficits in the North to emerge as the largest party in Parliament. However, Kerala does not count in its electoral arithmetic unless it is able to attract some loners like P.C. Thomas (IFDP) in 2004 or win the Thiruvananthapuram seat. But for Mr. Modi, an increase in BJP’s vote share in Kerala could be termed certain level of endorsement for his brand of politics from a State dominated by minorities and leftists, and hence a victory.
O. Rajagopal, who could win nearly 30 per cent of the votes from Thiruvananthapuram, is preparing to take on Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, who also has expressed wish to see re-election from the constituency.
The BJP is ahead of other parties in choosing its candidates. It has already come to an understanding on candidates for most of the 20 constituencies in the State, though formal announcement will be made only later.