With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, it is again time for the state BJP to start dreaming about the lotus blooming in Kerala. But this time, it seems the party is more organised in the build up to the elections by giving more focus on youth and social media.
The confidence being expressed by state president V Muralidharan indicates the mood prevailing in the party. As elsewhere in the country, the party believes the ground is clear for Narendra Modi. Unlike in the past, the party is giving more emphasis on one leaders’ magic to attract voters, especially the youth.
Muralidharan explained the logic behind their confidence: “The rally scheduled to be held here on February will herald the coming of change. There will be representation from all 21,000 booths in the state, though large scale participation of party activists and sympathisers will be from the four southern districts,” he said.
Referring to pitiable performances of the party in the past, the BJP state president said that out of 21,000 booths, the party had organisational presence in only 12,000 booths.
“Other parties take this situation to their advantage and by the end of the campaign they spread rumours that BJP candidates had merchandised votes. We had not been able to counter this for want of our activists in such areas,” he said.
Muralidharan also said that RSS Sarsangh chalak Mohan Bhagwath had advised its cadre in advance to ensure that all the activists and sympathisers enrol in the voters’ list and caste their votes compulsorily.
The RSS issued such a communique, for making voting compulsory, only during the 1977 elections.
Asked about the huge gap between the votes polled in favour of the BJP during the last elections and the required votes to ensure victory of its candidates, Muralidharan pointed out that if the voters see a chance of BJP coming to power at the Centre, they would definitely vote for them.
BJP district president S Suresh told Express that they had already organised 50 booth-level meetings in the Lok Sabha constituency for enrolling new voters.
“We have already enrolled 10,000 new voters. ‘NaMo Kerala’, a creative group of youths has also started enrolling voters online. They are also using social media effectively as part of the campaign,” he said.
While speaking to Express, veteran leader and former Union Minister O Rajagopal opined that the upcoming election was not a normal one.
“It is for the first time since the 1977 elections held during the post emergency period that such a an amount of public anger is visible against the incumbent government at the Centre. While it was the wrath against Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi which marked the 1977 elections, it is the anger towards Sonia Gandhi, her son and the coterie surrounding them that will be visible during the next elections,” he claimed.
The younger generation now, with no ideological baggage, wishes to have an effective government and good governance to lead India to the future.
“In their efforts, they found a leader in Narendra Modi to lead India,” he claimed.
Asked about the organisational readiness of the BJP to articulate the people’s feelings effectively, Muralidharan claimed that the party had the organisational network to reach out to the people.
Hinting that he will be ready to contest again from here, Muralidharan said that several people, including youths, were asking him to contest again.