Close on the heels of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Kerala visit where he tried to reach out to Dalits, BJP will hold a social justice conference in Madurai to woo backward classes ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

“Lots of posts, vacancies reserved for SC, ST, and other backward classes people have not been filled up (in employment and education). We want these to be filled. Opportunity must be given to the oppressed people,” BJP State unit President Pon Radhakrishnan said.

The Madurai conference to be held on February 21, would focus on issues affecting the backward classes, he said.

The party hopes that sustained campaign through several modes including ideas like the “Chai pe charcha” (chat over tea) will bring electoral dividends for it in the State, dominated by Dravidian majors AIADMK and DMK.

BJP, which surprised many by mobilising good turnout at the rallies addressed by Mr. Modi in Tiruchirappalli and Vandalur near Chennai, has also been trying to present an alternative to AIADMK and DMK, eyeing parties like DMDK and PMK.

However, so far BJP has tasted limited success with only the MDMK led by Vaiko, Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi, a splinter group of a caste-based outfit in western Tamil Nadu, and the Indiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK), floated by educationist K. Patchamuthu, aligning with it.

Nevertheless, the BJP has lined up a slew of electorate outreach programmes in the state as part of which an agitation to press for total prohibition will be held on February 15 at Perundurai near Erode.

Similarly, a door-to-door campaign christened “Veedu thorum thamarai; Ullam thorum Modi,” (Lotus in every house and Modi in every heart) will be intensified in urban areas the same day.

The engineers’ wing will hold a conference in Coimbatore on February 20, and public meetings will be held in all the 39 Parliamentary constituencies in the State.

On the line of the social justice meet, the party will also hold a ‘minorities conference,’ with the theme of

“integrating hearts” sans “misleading, false campaign” by rivals on February 24.

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