In Kerala, BJP boss Amit Shah has plans for a rainbow coalition

In Kerala, BJP boss Amit Shah has plans for a rainbow coalition

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BJP chief Amit Shah with spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi in Kollam. (Source: PTI)

If BJP president Amit Shah has his way, the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) — an influential caste organisation representing the Ezhavas in Kerala — will form a new political outfit immediately after the forthcoming civic polls in the state. The SNDP is critical to the BJP’s plans to form a rainbow coalition to offer a third alternative for the next Assembly polls in Kerala.

According to BJP sources, Shah’s plan was provided a shot in the arm by Mata Amritanandamayi, who also is keen to form “a platform of Hindu unity”.

The spiritual leader — who has a strong following inside and outside the country — is believed to have helped the coming together of leaders of various Hindu organisations, including the SNDP, in the state. Sources claimed that in the hectic parleys that followed even VHP leaders played a significant role.

“It was suggested that the SNDP could float a political outfit and form a coalition with the BJP,” said a senior BJP leader familiar with the developments.



He claimed that various outfits like the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha, a Dalit community organisation, the Dheevara Sabha, an outfit representing fishermen, and the Yogakshema Sabha — the organisation of the Namboothiri Brahmins — had already agreed to join hands with the BJP.

On Sunday, Shah and VHP leader Ashok Singhal were present at the 62nd birthday celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi at the Kollam mutt.

“Although the initial plan was to announce the combine before the civic elections in November, it is not likely to happen. So the SNDP’s second-rung leaders will contest as Independents in the local elections and the BJP will support them,” the leader added.

To seal the deal, SNDP General Secretary Vellappally Nadesan and his son and vice president of the outfit, Thushar Vellappally, are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi either on Wednesday or Thursday.

“A final picture will emerge only after the meeting with the PM,” said a source. However, state BJP leaders refused to comment on the developments.

Sources said a section of state BJP leaders were unhappy about Shah’s move to ally with the SNDP led by Nadesan. They argued that the tie-up might antagonise the Nair Service Society (NSS), the organisation of the upper-caste Nair community.

Shah, however, was believed to have told them that SNDP mattered as Ezhavas formed a bigger chunk of the Hindu population. Shah’s remarks were also seen as a warning to the faction-ridden state unit of the BJP.

Shah also expressed confidence about consolidating the Hindu votes by keeping both the SNDP and the NSS together. The BJP, sources added, also hoped to get the backing of a section of the Christian community. The BJP leaders have already started wooing some Christian leaders, said a party leader.

Meanwhile, Shah also told the state unit that the BJP must try to win at least 18-19 per cent seats in the civic elections.

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