BJP to rebuild ties with Christians in Kerala ahead of Lok Sabha elections

December 05, 2023 08:04 pm | Updated December 06, 2023 11:14 am IST - KOTTAYAM

Kerala BJP leader M.T. Ramesh 

Kerala BJP leader M.T. Ramesh 

Unfazed by the antipathy voiced by the various church factions towards it, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to launch an outreach mission to overcome the trust deficit between Christian communities in Kerala and the national party ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

A meeting of the BJP State leadership in Kottayam here on Monday decided to launch a 10-day-long Sneha Yathra, which seeks to win over the community by explaining its position on various issues, including the Manipur violence.

The programme, which is slated to begin on December 20, envisages the party workers and leadership to reach out to all Christian homes across the State.

Elaborating on the mission, BJP State secretary M.T. Ramesh said the outreach projects initiated by the party during the previous Christmas and Easter festivals had a huge impact on its political prospects in the State. “Alongside exchanging the Christmas wishes, the party will also use the occasion to convince the community of its position on different issues,” he said here on Tuesday.

The development marks an important new facet for the relationship between the two sides, which had soared over the perceived threats from “jihadists” and touched a crescendo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meeting with top bishops in Kochi earlier this year.

The violence that broke out in Manipur and the subsequent attacks on Christian religious establishments there, however, threw a spanner into this growing relationship.

Sources, meanwhile, also hinted at the plans by the BJP national leadership to bring in its lawmakers from Northeast to lend credence to the campaign. It also counts on leveraging the growing disaffection within the church over the pro-Palestine stance by both the Left Democratic Front and United Democratic Front to its end.

Prior to embarking on the minority outreach mission, the BJP is also slated to organise party conventions at the district and Assembly constituency levels. The party will formally kick start its election campaign in January with a Statewide march to be led by its State president K. Surendran.

The march, in which at least 25,000 party workers will take part on a daily basis, will focus on presenting an alternative political plan for Kerala with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at its core.

“he event , which will also witness several eminent personalities joining the National Democratic Alliance’s fold, will be preceded by an expansion of the alliance’’, added Mr. Ramesh.

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