As part of his 95-day ‘Vistaar Yatra’ across the country, BJP president Amit Shah has landed in Kerala. The BJP has been trying hard to extend its footprint across the country and Kerala remains an Achilles heel for the party.
Shah, who arrived here on the second leg of his Kerala tour, began with garlanding the statue of social reformer and dalit leader Ayyankali.
Kerala has 20 parliamentary seats, which, for instance, is more than the cumulative number of seats in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
He said it was a matter of ‘shame’ that most of the killings have occurred in Kannur, the home district of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “If the Chief Minister and his party think that they can suppress the growth of BJP with intimidation, they are living in misunderstanding”, he said after laying the foundation stone for a new building of the party state office here in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, that is of 45,000 sq ft.
Shah said the foundation stone for the new office was also equally a foundation stone for the formation of a BJP-led government in Kerala in future. “BJP in Kerala is ready to march forward. From the acceptance the saffron party received among all sections of society, BJP-led NDA government will come to power in the state, where the CPI(M) led LDF and Congress headed UDF have been ruling alternatively,” he said.
BJP State President Kumanom Rajasekharan and former Union Minister and MLA O.Rajagopal were among several top party leaders who attended the function.
“This time also after the LDF came to power 13 RSS-BJP workers were killed one by one due to political reasons by CPI(M)”, he said. “It is a matter of shame that most of the killings have occurred in the home district, Kannur, of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan”, he added.
Kannur is considered to be a bastion of Kerala’s communist movement since the 1930s. Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan, a local, won his assembly seat from this district’s constituency of Dharmadom.
Kerala reported the third-highest number of murders (12) committed due to political reasons in 2015, the top two states being Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, according to 2015 National Crime Records Bureau data, the latest available. A quarter of these crimes were committed in Kannur alone.
On further analysis of the NCRB data, it was found that at least half of all politically-motivated murders in this state of 14 districts were reported from Kannur during the CPM’s last term, between 2006 to 2011, and one year of its term in 2000.
During the two terms of the Congress-led state government, 20%-30% of political murders reasons were from Kannur.
Crimes reported in Kerala have steadily risen over nearly a decade, according to state police data. From 252,408 cases reported in 2008, the police registered 707,541 cases in 2016, up almost two-fold.
Shah also said that the party would take necessary steps to ensure that those responsible for the attacks against BJP-RSS workers get maximum punishment as per law.
Do not think that just because communist government is in power, those who unleashed violence against BJP workers will go scot free. We will ensure through the legal process that the maximum punishment is given to the attackers”, he added.
Launching a scathing attack on the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led state government for the alleged attacks on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Kerala, party president Amit Shah on Sunday said the more leftist violence is unleashed upon the saffron party workers in the state, the more the Lotus will blossom here.
Shah is on a three-day visit to Kerala as part of his 95-day tour across the country ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election. He has held several meetings with the state level leaders, district panchayats, booth heads as well as bishops and heads of churches as part of his effort to reach out to Christians in the state.
The BJP leader had yesterday met Church heads, including Cardinal George Alencherry of the Syro-Malabar Church, in an effort to woo the minority community, which accounted for 18- 20 per cent of votes in Kerala.
The BJP chief said it was due to the hard work of several leaders and workers that the party had risen from 10 MPs as Jan Sangh and transformed itself into the biggest political party in the world with a membership of more than 11 crore.
The BJP already has an unprecedented three Rajya Sabha members from the state,including nominated MP (and actor) Suresh Gopi, Anglo-Indian representative Prof Richard Hay and Kerala NDA vice-chairman Rajiv Chandrasekhar.
There is a proposal to promote one of its Kerala leaders to a minister of state in the central government and former state president V Muralidharan is supposed to be among the frontrunners. The party expects that it would help them to reach out more to the common man and gain further acceptance