Huge outreach to Christians and Muslims in BJP’s Kerala master plan: sources

Christians will be invited to the home of BJP workers for Vishu on April 15, sources said.

New Delhi:

To the northeast below its belt, the BJP is out to conquer Kerala, with a massive public outreach program that plans to embrace the two major non-Hindu communities – Muslims and Christians. Together, the two make up 46% of the population, which is crucial for breaking into a state that has always been a bastion of the left and Congress.

The BJP, which stepped up its outreach in Kerala ahead of the 2019 elections, was unable to make inroads.

Going against the national trend, the party had drawn a blank in the state despite its acute agitation over the Sabarimala issue. The Congress had won 15 of the state’s 20 Lok Sabha seats. Its allies won four more – the Indian Union Muslim League won two and the Kerala Congress (Mani Group) and the Socialist Revolutionary Party one seat each.

The result was seen as a rejection of the party’s position on religious issues.

The BJP’s growth in the state has been stalled ever since, despite numerous incidents of communal clashes between right-wing and left-wing supporters.

Sources said the huge outreach program planned this time will involve BJP workers visiting homes of Christians during Easter week. On April 9, Easter Sunday, 10,000 BJP workers will visit the homes of 1 lakh Christians.

During Christmas week last year, thousands of BJP workers visited Christian homes with gifts, sources said.

Right-wing workers will also visit homes of Muslims on Eid Day in the third week of April.

Christians will be invited to right-wing activists during the Vishu feast on April 15.

BJP leaders say that while the people have welcomed the move, it is being closely watched by the ruling left and the opposition Congress.

The outreach is the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had asked the party cadre to organize a ‘sneha samvaad’ (message of affection) to minorities in Kerala during the party’s national executive meeting in Hyderabad .

After the victory in the three northeastern states, Prime Minister Modi also told a program held at the BJP headquarters in Delhi that the party would form a coalition government in Kerala, where assembly elections are due. planned for 2026.

He indicated that this time the party would be banking on the support of the Christian community, which he said had given him a lot of support in the northeast.

Pointing to the two dominant parties in Kerala, he had said that although the left and the Congress were bitter rivals in the state, they contested the Tripura elections as allies.

Sources said the BJP is also planning a “Thank Modi” program, which would involve testimonials from beneficiaries of various central projects in the state. Already around 12,000 people have sent “Thank you Modi” videos in Malayalam.

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