Upbeat BJP Hopeful of Opening Account in Kerala - The New Indian Express

Upbeat BJP Hopeful of Opening Account in Kerala

Published: 17th February 2014 09:36 AM

Last Updated: 17th February 2014 11:10 AM

Riding on the popularity wave following the visit by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the party state unit is expecting to get its first-ever representative from the state to the Lok Sabha, at least this time.

With surveys predicting one seat from Kerala, the party has been actively formulating new strategies.

Recently a TV-C Voter Survey predicted one seat for the BJP in Kerala, thereby boosting the party’s hopes.

“The party is hopeful of opening its account in Kerala this time. A couple of constituencies, including Pathanamthitta, where Alphons Kannanthanam could be the party candidate, and Thiruvananthapuram, where the party plans to field veteran O Rajagopal, are priority seats. While ongoing issues related to the Aranmula airport project could prove favourable in Pathanamthitta, there are political factors in favour of the BJP in Thiruvananthapuram,” sources pointed out.

Talking to ‘Express’, Rajagopal said a formal decision regarding his candidature has not been taken yet, though that is the general understanding.

“The general understanding is in favour of me contesting from Thiruvananthapuram. However no formal decision has been taken yet,” he said.  BJP state president V Muraleedharan too is confident that the Modi wave could open a new chapter for the party in Kerala.

“The massive response that Modi got in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram should be enough indication for the BJP’s possibilities in Kerala this Lok Sabha polls. Party candidates will be finalised within a month,” he said.

On asked whether he would contest the polls, Muraleedharan said that he is not interested, but the final decision would be taken by the party.  Though no decision has been made, it is learnt that Muraleedharan might opt for Kozhikode constituency if the party wants him to contest.

The massive turnout of supporters for the two functions that Modi attended is what the party leaders consider as the most positive sign.

“Already there are positive signals from all the 20 constituencies. As per rough estimates, the party may get about 16 per cent votes in Kerala. The heavy response for Modi’s meetings was something more than what we expected. People from various cross-sections of the society turned up,” pointed out BJP state general secretary A N Radhakrishnan, whose name is being considered for Ernakulam constituency. Meanwhile, isolated incidents of in-fighting within the party has been creating headache for the leadership.

Party leaders along with top office-bearers of Parivar organisations will meet in Kochi on Monday to plan and formulate strategies for the Lok Sabha polls.

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