Even as the BJP hopes for the lotus to bloom in Kerala Assembly in the May 16 polls, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, heading the Congress led ruling UDF, asserts the saffron party would not gain any foothold in the state as Keralite mindset was against its ideologies.
“BJP can never gain a foothold in Kerala as the mindset of Keralites is not in favour of the ideologies followed by the saffron party,” he told PTI in an interview here. He was responding to a query on whether the BJP would open its account in the state in the coming polls. BJP, which has so far not succeeded in getting an MLA or MP elected from the state, is hopeful that things will be different this time as it is buoyant after its relative good showing in the recent civic elections in the state. (Also read. Tamil Nadu Assembly elections: Karunanidhi to contest from native Tiruvarur)
The party has aligned with BDJS (Bharat Dharma Jana Sena), a recently floated political party formed by SNDP (Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam) an organisation of the powerful Ezhava community in Kerala. Significantly, this is the first time that the BJP has made the presence of NDA in the state and has projected itself as a third alternative to the UDF and CPI(M) headed LDF, which have been ruling the state alternately.
Ruling out chances of the saffron party breaking the bipolar politics of the state, Chandy said the people of the state were ‘secular’. “The biggest strength of Kerala is secularism and religious harmony...Though there is a possibility of political divide in the state, they (BJP) will not succeed in achieving political gains through divisive policies”, Chandy said. “BJP can never gain a foothold in Kerala”, he asserted. (Also read. Assembly Elections 2016: Impressive voter turnout in Assam, West Bengal polls)
Rubbishing CPI-M state Secretary Kodieryi Balakrishnan’s charge that Congress had entered into a tacit understanding with BJP in some pockets, including Nemom, Chandy said it was an admission of defeat ahead of the elections. Taking potshots at CPI(M), Chandy said “CPI(M) effort is to find reason for their impending defeat by blaming BJP”. Asserting that Congress is always fighting BJP all over the country, Chandy charged CPI(M) with aligning with the saffron front on several occasions in the past.
“CPI(M) is an opportunistic party. In 1977, they contested along with Janata Party in Kerala. In 1989, it is the Marxist party and BJP that supported the V P Singh government at the Centre,” Chandy pointed out. Besides this, recently, by not joining the grand alliance in Bihar, the Communist party had split anti-BJP votes,he said. “If they had joined the alliance, the loss suffered by the saffron party would have been more”, he said. It was an election which was keenly watched by the whole nation and many were keen that BJP should be defeated, he said. “There can be no doubt that UDF will be in the forefront to fight the BJP in Kerala”, Chandy added. (Also read. Assembly Elections 2016: Heavy voter turnout in West Bengal)