BJP banks on Narendra Modi’s visit to Tamil Nadu and Kerala today to increase footprints in South India

Updated on Jan 27, 2019 08:04 AM IST

PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai today and inaugurate super speciality blocks at Rajaji, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli medical colleges as the BJP focuses on increasing its footprints in the south.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during an event to launch civic projects worth Rs 2,980 crore in Agra on Jan 9, 2019.(PTI file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during an event to launch civic projects worth Rs 2,980 crore in Agra on Jan 9, 2019.(PTI file photo)
New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai on Sunday and inaugurate super speciality blocks at the Rajaji, Thanjavur and Tirunelveli medical colleges as the BJP focuses on increasing its footprints in the south.

He will also address a public rally in the temple town of Madurai. The rally will present a chance to Modi and the BJP showcase the work the central government has done for Tamil Nadu, said a senior party leader.

“It will be an opportunity to showcase the developmental projects brought to Tamil Nadu by the BJP-led central government,” H Raja, a BJP national secretary, told IANS.

“About 1 crore people have benefited from the Mudra loan scheme in Tamil Nadu. Similarly, 3,000 km of highway projects are being implemented in the state. That apart, many families have received gas connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

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In the last general elections, the BJP won just one Lok Sabha seat out of 39 in Tamil Nadu and drew a blank in neighbouring Kerala which has 20 seats.

According to PMO officials, Modi will fly to Thrissur in Kerala from Madurai to address a public rally. It will be his second visit in less than a fortnight to the state since January 15 when he flew down to inaugurate a bypass in Kollam.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to dedicate an integrated refinery expansion project to the nation at a function in Kochi. The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited project cost Rs 16,500 crore.

With Tamil Nadu and Kerala together sending 59 MPs to the Lok Sabha and the BJP is keen to expand its electoral footprint to the states as the NDA government eyes a second term.

In Tamil Nadu, the BJP is also hopeful of an alliance with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) after the DMK shut its doors on the saffron party and is all set for a tie up with the Congress.

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A senior BJP leader said that a team of party leaders was discussing alliance with about half a dozen smaller parties in Tamil Nadu and they expect a rainbow coalition to be formed before the elections. “Our internal surveys have shown that we are in a good position in at least 4-5 parliamentary seats in Kerala,” he said.

During his earlier visit to Kerala on January 15, Modi had come down heavily on the Left Front government over the Sabarimala issue and warned the CPI (M) that it will be uprooted like it was in Tripura if it continued to antagonise people.

The PM said people know Communists don’t respect history, culture and spirituality. “For a few months the entire nation has been talking about Sabarimala. The conduct of the LDF government on the issue will go down as one of the most shameful behaviour by any government or party,” he said adding violence and intimidation won’t subdue his party workers in the state.

The BJP which has been leading frenetic protests against entry of women in the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, failed to make a mark in the recently concluded local body bypolls in Kerala. Out of the 39 seats in which elections were held, the BJP won only two.

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