BJP’s Kerala surge plan: Woo the Christian community

In an effort to increase the NDA’s base, the BJP is also expected to resume its attempts to bring in Kerala Congress-Mani, a key constituent of the Congress-led UDF.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: June 11, 2016 10:19 am
Keral, Kerala Assembly elections 2016, Kerala polls, Kerala poll results, Kerala chief minister, Kerala CM, Kerala CM Kummanam Rajasekharan, Rajasekharan, BJP, BJP keral, Amit Shah, AMit Shah Kerala, Christians, Kerala polls Christians,Congress-led UDF, Kerala congress, NDA, india news Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Kerala soon to find out how the BJP lost core votes in the polls,

As the BJP analyses the results of the recent Assembly elections, party chief Amit Shah has asked state leaders to woo Christians, a community that the party sees as a prospective support base in southern and northeastern states.

Shah, who is scheduled to visit Kerala soon to find out how the BJP lost core votes in the polls, reportedly told an NDA delegation from Kerala led by Kummanam Rajasekharan, which met him earlier this week, that the state unit has to work on getting the community on board. Sources said state BJP leaders have been asked to reach out to the community to create a “level of trust and reduce trust deficiency”.

READ | Murmurs of a generational shift in Congress’ Kerala unit

In an effort to increase the NDA’s base, the BJP is also expected to resume its attempts to bring in Kerala Congress-Mani, a key constituent of the Congress-led UDF. The BJP had had a series of backchannel talks with the party before the elections. Party leaders believe now that the UDF is out of power, talks for a possible alliance may be more fruitful.

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The BJP leadership assesses that the Christian community, which forms 18.38 per cent of the state population, is per se not adversarial to the party. “The poll results showed the BJP could increase vote-share in central Kerala, which has a significant and influential Christian population,” a BJP leader said. “Besides, leaders of almost all denominations of the Church in Kerala have expressed keenness to maintain a good rapport with the BJP leadership.”

The NDA increased its vote share from 6 per cent in the 2011 Assembly election to 15 per cent. While the state unit claims that rise, along with the victory in Nemam constituency, is an achievement, the party’s central leaders say that BJP candidates finished second in eight seats, with less than 10,000 votes separating them from the winners. “Had we managed to keep the Christians and Nairs — two communities considered to be (BJP’s) natural allies in the state, the party would have got 8-10 seats,” one central leader said. “The state leadership’s failure in keeping these two communities has been one reason for the low tally.”

BJP leaders also admitted that its alliance with the BDJS, mentored by Ezhava leader Vellappally Nadesan of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, helped BJP get the community’s votes in Allappuzha and Kollam districts, but not as expected in other parts of the state. “This shows we need to get more parties to strengthen our base votes,” one of the leaders said.

According to a BJP leader who has been involved with organisation works in the state, the Kerala unit had ignored P C Thomas, the leader of Kerala Congress who was part of NDA-1. Some say Thomas could be a “bridge” for the BJP to strengthen ties with Christians now. He was invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Sarbananda Sonowal in Assam.

Thomas, who recently met Shah, has suggested that some representatives from the community be considered for posts in organisations, such as Rubber Board and Spices Board, that come under the Central government.

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  1. Y
    Jun 11, 2016 at 5:39 am
    It should be easy for a hindu denier of truth by faith, to lour their own hindu denial of truth kind Christians to vote for them, hind crime of trinity is innovation of crocked founding fathers of hinduism racism by faith, and adopted by hindus racist of the west, as foundation of hinduism fabrication to hind fool humanity, called Christianity, but Mithra ism savior ism of hindu trinity, a hind fraud to deny human equality, call it hindrance to truth hinduism racism by faith, or hind fabrication of hindu dark ages, Christianity, they are hindu criminal brothers in arms, in hindrance to truth by faith, pretending to be different.
    1. Y
      Jun 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm
      They face hinduism justice in its full blown form, for being in hindrance to truth, in denial of truth, a criminal in public.
      1. H
        Harry Achari
        Jun 11, 2016 at 11:44 am
        Hahaha, amitji, if you expect support from them you are in fools paradise. Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Irak, stan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. These people treated like stray dogs and in India they are protected threatend species. Instead of thanking they bite the hands of their protectors. These people are ignored even in Europe. These groups in those above mentioned countries, are against jihadists while India they are jihad supporters. They will do any thing against our country if they once get a chance. All you can expect from them is big smile and stab you at the back.
        1. M
          Jun 11, 2016 at 6:07 am
          But than your i AMMI was puked by a jungle mania of Arabian desert and you became a child of a rape product,---you may have no idea who your forefathers were,---a fabrication by WAHABIS,--you ended up a MOHAJIR,---and became a foundation MUZZIE fabrication of a stupid human,---hindrance to truth.
          1. J
            Jun 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm
            How are Hindus treated in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Irak, stan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Hindus are looked down like garbage. If you don't believe try a trip or search the net. You will be really surprised. Just try it once, for religion(hindu)sake.
            1. G
              Jun 11, 2016 at 9:12 am
              There are bad elements in every community. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking exceptions as examples and dividing communities.
            2. M
              Jun 11, 2016 at 9:01 am
              We are not gonna support you as long as you continue to support the RSS, take no action against those who have committed crimes against Christian keralites in the north and support those so called religious icons who continue to shun any other religion(Period!!!!)
              1. B
                Bijan Mohanty
                Jun 11, 2016 at 7:13 am
                Forget about Christian community, Amit Shah will find it extremely difficult to woo even the Hindu community, since non-performers and false publicizers have no takers-- whether Hindus or Christians.
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