NEW DELHI: Determined to make inroads into Kerala, where the BJP is yet to win a single Assembly or Parliament seat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his senior colleagues, including Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, to spend their weekend in the state, campaigning for the party.
Modi made this arrangement after the state BJP unit requested party’s national president Amit Shah to ensure a “high voltage” campaign in the state.
Apart from the Home Minister and the MEA Minister, the team will also include HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Health Minister J P Nadda and Law Minister Sadananda Gowda.
“The party cadre are very confident this time. They believe that with adequate support from the Central leadership, it will not just open the account but may even win a good number of seats,” a BJP leader coordinating Kerala election campaign told Express.
Shanawas Hussain and Mukthar Abbas Naqvi, the minority faces of BJP, will also be joining the campaign. “Each leader has been allotted constituencies as per his profile,” said the leader.
The BJP leadership is of the view that Smriti Irani has “good connect” with women voters and she will be addressing rallies in five constituencies across the state.
While Shanawas Hussain has been assigned 10 constituencies, the schedule of Naqvi is yet to be finalised. “The party realises that it is impossible to win seats in Kerala with majority votes. Tacit understanding with minority communities is inevitable,” said a leader.
The BJP, party insiders said, has been gaining encouraging foothold in the state. Their confidence stems from the reports that BJP candidates will eat into the traditional UDF votes and its ally BDJS is bound to cut into the traditional LDF vote base.
“Our alliance with BDJS, which was written off by many political pundits, is working on the ground quite well. A little push from the Central leadership can really pull it off for the party,” said a state BJP leader.
BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah’s presence too has boosted the party workers’ confidence.