BJP plans ‘Nanni Modi’ outreach drive in Kerala | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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BJP plans ‘Nanni Modi’ outreach drive in Kerala

Mar 23, 2023 05:52 AM IST

On Wednesday, Union minister V Muraleedharan and senior leader and BJP Kerala in-charge Prakash Javadekar accused the Pinarayi Vijayan government of corruption which led to the absence of a waste-management plan and a consequent fire at a landfill in Kochi.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has embarked on a mission to leverage Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity among people in Kerala for drafting its electoral strategy, which will have beneficiaries of welfare schemes at the core, in the southern state, people familiar with the development said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (ANI)

The party has planned a special outreach campaign aimed at wooing minorities and stepping up pressure against the state government. In line with its plan, the party will record testimonies of beneficiaries for its “Nanni Modi” (thank you, Modi) campaign.

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On Wednesday, union minister V Muraleedharan and senior leader and state in-charge, Prakash Javadekar accused the Pinarayi Vijayan government of corruption which led to the absence of a waste-management plan and a consequent fire at a landfill in Kochi. The BJP leaders demanded a CBI probe into the matter and said leaders of both the Congress and the Left are involved in the case.

The party has planned a massive outreach in the state that will cut across faiths and castes and collate testimonies of residents who are beneficiaries of various schemes such as the subsidised housing for the economically weaker sections, Mudra loans and free ration, the people cited above said.

“Though the BJP’s vote share is about 12%, since 2019 there has been a sea change in the approval rate for the PM (Prime Minister, Narendra Modi). In 2014 people had reservations against the party, in 2019 they were taken in by the narrative that the Congress may stage a comeback, and some had dismissed the BJP as a one-time wonder. The 2019 mandate showed that there was approval for the PM, his social schemes and development agenda. We plan to convert this approval for the PM into an approval for the party,” a senior party leader said, requesting anonymity.

After the BJP won elections in Nagaland, Tripura and with its alliance partner formed government in Meghalaya that went to polls recently, the PM said he is confident that in the coming years, as it has happened in Nagaland and Meghalaya and Goa over the years, the BJP will form government in Kerala too. “...I am confident that BJP alliance will form government in the state,” he said, adding that the outcome in Goa, a minority dominated state has proven that the opposition’s charge against the BJP of being majoritarian finds no support on the ground.

Though the party has been accused of being selective in raising issues core to its ideology, such as a ban on beef eating for political expedience, party leaders said they will continue to flag issues such as Love Jihad, a term used to refer to inter-faith marriages. “...But our poll plank will be the development work carried out by the centre,” said the leader quoted above.

Prakash Javadekar said the party will focus on the “development agenda” and work to “expose the opposition’s false perceptions” about the BJP.

“In Kerala, people have realised that there is no truth in the opposition’s claims that the BJP is anti-minorities. All the welfare schemes of the Modi government have been disbursed without any bias to those eligible, irrespective of caste, class and faith. People have realised that the benefits have not been limited to any vote bank as is done by the CPI(M) government,” he said.

The BJP, which did not win a single seat in the 2021 assembly elections, saw its vote share shrink by 2.6% from 2016. Given the percentage of minorities, particularly Christians in the state, the party wants to intensify outreach to increase its vote share.

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“We started the Sneha Samvaad (affectionate communication) around last Christmas, visited Christian households to exchange greetings. The visit was apolitical and community building exercise as was suggested by the PM at the Hyderabad meeting (the national executive meeting in June 2022). This time on April 9 we will again reach out to one lakh Christian families on the occasion of Easter. This will be followed by similar outreach to Hindu and Muslim households on the occasion of Vishu (April 15) and Eid (April 21),” said the first leader.

Members of the minority communities will be invited to participate in the Vishu (Malayalee New Year) festivities.

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