Kozhikode in north Kerala is all decked up to host the three-day national council meeting of the BJP which begins on September 23. At least 2500 delegates including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team of ministers are scheduled to attend the meet.
The national council meeting will be dedicated to its ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya who became the president of the Jan Sangh, the BJP’s forerunner. Upadhyaya was elected president of the Jan Sangh in 1937 at the party conclave in Kozhikode then known as Calicut. He was assassinated 41 days later in Mugalsari railway station in Uttar Pradesh. This is also Upadhyaya’s centenary year.
A huge air-conditioned tent spread across 1.50 lakh sq feet is being readied at the venue named as “Swapna Nagari.” A German technique, sans pillars and poles, has been used to erect it. It will be handed over to the special protection group (SPG) in a couple of days.
“Arrangements are in final stages. Last week we conducted a door-to-door meet to invite people for the meet,” said party state chief Kummanam Rajsekharan.
The PM will arrive in the city on September 24. He is scheduled to participate in a public meeting at Kozikokde beach while BJP president Amit Shah will address the delegates the next day when Modi will also give his concluding address.
Ahead of the meeting the city is getting a makeover. Pot holes are being filled up, government buildings are getting a fresh coat of paint and the ever-flickering street lights are coming to life in the ancient city where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498.
The BJP is also planning a gala bash and arrangements are almost like former PM A B Vajpayee’s Kumarakom year-end retreat in 2000 that gave a major fillip to the state’s tourism sector.
On the final day a typical Onam sadya (feast) with 100-odd dishes is being planned. Well known chef Pazayidam Mohanan Namboodri has been roped in for the exercise. Many well-known personalities have also been lined up , including former sprint queen P T Ushawho has been made the chairperson of the organizing committee.
BJP leaders feel that the meet will boost the party’s prospects in south India. In the recent assembly election in Kerala, the BJP had managed to open its account and more than double its vote share from 7 to 15 per cent. It is also planning to take up the issue of violent clashes between Marxist cadres and RSS in Kannur in a big way. A delegation of party MPs led by Bhoopendra Yadav is presently visiting the violence-hit areas.