Lok Sabha polls: After sealing AIADMK pact, BJP now banks on Brand Modi for southern push

The BJP will kick off its campaign in Tamil Nadu with a public rally that will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kanyakumari on March 1.

Published: 21st February 2019 02:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2019 11:13 AM   |  A+A-

Narendra Modi

PM Modi (EPS | File)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After inking seat adjustment in Tamil Nadu, the BJP, banking on ‘Brand Modi’ for a southern push, would go solo in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana even while the saffron outfit is working on Christian groups to end its dry run in Kerala in the Lok Sabha elections. 

The BJP will kick off its campaign in Tamil Nadu with a public rally that will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kanyakumari on March 1.

Sources in the BJP said the party would, in a few days, stitch alliances in Kerala, besides roping in some Christian groups. However, the party will not enter into pre-poll ties in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and will contest on its own in the two states.

ALSO READ: AIADMK-DMDK talks inconclusive, efforts on to chisel out rough edges

“The NDA will gain a good number of seats in the southern states. The performance will be better than the outcome of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP is adopting a practical approach with the sole aim to ensure that Modi becomes PM again,” said BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao. 

The BJP is banking on ‘Brand Modi’ in the southern states to gain Lok Sabha seats which could offset its losses, if any, in its traditional strongholds. The party is also seemingly going extra mile to enlist allies.

The Sabarimala campaign has earned some gains for the BJP, which would be further strengthened with alliances with caste-based entities, said a senior BJP leader. A few prominent Christian Congress leaders would soon be joining the BJP, he added.

The BJP is also hopeful that the party will improve its tally in Karnataka and bag 18 seats.

“The BJP is weak in regions where the JD(S) is strong. In the event of a Congress-JD (S) seat adjustment, the ground level animosities between the workers of the two parties would prove beneficial for the BJP,” said a BJP functionary. 

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