NEW DELHI: BJP President Amit Shah will be visiting Tamil Nadu later this month amidst talk that the party is looking to replicate the 'Haryana model' in the state by bringing in leaders from various political outfits to bolster its position ahead of Assembly polls.
Shah will be in TN on December 20 and 21 with the visit being seen as a significant one at a time when BJP is aiming to secure political gains in the state where DMK's reputation has taken a beating over corruption charges and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa has been convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
"TN is a very important state for BJP in the south and penetration in the state is very crucial for the party's growth in the region," BJP general secretary and in-charge of its affairs for TN, P Muralidhar Rao, told reporters here.
"He (Shah) is especially coming to TN to plan BJP's membership campaign here and review its preparedness for upcoming state elections," he added. The TN BJP unit has lined up a massive membership drive during which it aims to attract one crore members.
Meanwhile, BJP sources said they are formulating a poll strategy for Tamil Nadu based on the model it had adopted for Haryana, where the party emerged victorious in recent Assembly elections.
Leaders of various parties who have a reasonable following in different regions of TN have expressed an willingness to join BJP and that would happen over the coming three months, party sources said although they refused to reveal the names of the such "probable leaders".
Were BJP's plan of drafting regional leaders to take off in TN, it would be a repeat of the scenario before Assembly polls in Haryana, when several leaders, including Congress veteran Birender Singh, joined the party.
"Dravidian parties are weakening and Congress is also experiencing a decline in TN. Hence, it is a huge opportunity for us to grow in the state. The state unit of the party would be strengthened before elections," a senior BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.
"In fact, we are looking at the eastern coastal states. The stress on West Bengal and TN is significant for BJP," the leader added.