'Love jihad, left terror' in Kerala refuse to let BJP-led NDA capitalise
Alleged cases of love jihad, attacks on RSS and BJP workers, allegations of conversion ploys are plaguing Kerala. The issues are opportune for the BJP-led NDA in the state to grasp control but is the state unit of the BJP failing miserably? The RSS is miffed with the BJP in Kerala. While political observers have called all issues 'manufactured', leaders of NDA are convinced that the time has come for BJP-led NDA in Kerala.
A Janaraksha Yatra that was to be held between September and October by the state BJP was postponed citing Amit Shah's nonavailability. The fact of the matter is also how the NDA is not in its best shape in Kerala. While issues of "left terror" had only begun to play in its favour, allegations of corruption in a medical college MCI clearance scam came as a major blow to the party. Coupled with it the infighting in the state BJP unit and discomfort with other parties of the NDA, the party is struggling to utilize the issues around it.
The Vice Chairman of NDA in Kerala, Rajeev Chandrasekhar. however, believes that the NDA is relatively new in the state and has managed to create some impact. The focus now is on the 2019 elections.
"The NDA in Kerala is just a year old phenomenon. It has made a mark in 2016 elections gaining over 15 per cent vote share - a significant jump from the single digits in 2011. But it is clear and obvious that BJP and NDA in Kerala is a political idea whose time has come. 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be its next big test," said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP and NDA's Vice Chairman in Kerala.
He also added that issues of love jihad, conversion, and attacks on right wing workers is being openly discussed only because of the NDA.
"It is because of NDA and the BJP that these issues are being openly discussed. These are issues that concern most Malayalees and Indians," he said.
Political analysts, however, do not agree. Paul Zacharia, a political writer believes that the issues of love jihad, conversion are all "manufactured".
"These are not burning issues but are manufactured. It is ridiculous to say that women of Kerala are idiots to not figure out love from something else. These are non-issues for Malayalees. How can you build a base here? Expect RSS supporters who believe that love jihad exists, who else will believe it? NA ordinary Malayali will not buy such stories. They are not getting anywhere with this," believes Paul Zacharia.
"BJP's biggest drawback is lack of relevance in Kerala. It may take the party decades to emerge as an entity to reckon with if the political scenario in Kerala turns communal. The BJP is being stupid in thinking that it can penetrate people's 'secular' minds with divisive politics. It will not work in Kerala given the current scenario," Zacharia added.
With RSS miffed with the BJP in Kerala, the focus is not on work first, rally next. Before launching an attack on the government, the BJP is working to set its house in order.