Kerala

BJP hopes to win Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur Corporations

Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) State president K. Surendran believes that an increased acceptance among minorities, particularly christians, will, among other new factors, power the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to victory in at least two municipal corporations in Kerala.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Surendran said christians, who constituted 17% of the State’s electorate, shared the BJP’s concern about ‘Love Jihad’ and national security.

Congress had alienated the community by aligning with fundamentalist outfits such as the Jamaat-e-Islami. Moreover, christians had gravitated towards the development and security agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP’s support among the Nair community remained irreversibly strong as ever. A majority of the rank and file of the BJP was NSS karayogam members.

The Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), headed by SNDP union vice-president Thushar Vellapally, was an NDA ally. It might not be a strong cadre party.

Nevertheless, the BDJS has helped the BJP make inroads into the Ezhava community and undercut the influence of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] among backward class voters. The NDA has the highest number of OBC candidates in the fray.

Mr. Surendran seemed sure of a win in Thiruvananthapuram. People have realised that CPI(M) was against the development of the international airport. It has back-pedalled on the Centre’s Smart City project. He said the BJP was also poised for a win in Thrissur. The NDA would increase its seat share in Kollam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode Corporations significantly.

The Rahul Gandhi factor and unprecedented consolidation of minority community votes in favour of the Congress had helped the United Democratic Front (UDF) gain 19 seats in the previous Lok Sabha elections despite the BJP’s Sabarimala campaign. Those circumstances did not exist in 2021. “Instead, there is a palpable pro-Narendra Modi sentiment among voters,” he said.

Voters believed that only the NDA at the Centre could stand up to the wrongdoings of the Pinarayi Vijayan government. They know that only Central agencies could dismantle the entrenched criminality and corruption in the Chief Minister’s Office and at the top of the CPI(M) leadership. BJP saw the CPI (M) as the main electoral enemy and not the “weakened” Congress, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:49:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/bjp-hopes-to-win-thiruvananthapuram-thrissur-corporations/article33258548.ece

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