Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 6
Much before the last vote is cast in Bihar on Friday the BJP’s election machinery is on the move for its next mission – elections in Assam, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala next year.
While in West Bengal Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday declared a sweeping victory for the party in upcoming elections, in Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma said “development and protection from infiltrators” would be poll planks for elections next year.
In Kerala, where the BJP appears to be in much disarray, sources say “the process to bring the house in order” for the crucial elections is on while in neighbouring Tamil Nadu the state unit rolled out ‘Vetrivel Yatra’ despite Covid restrictions by the state government.
According to reports, BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Murugan and some party workers were arrested near Lord Murugan temple at Tiruttani while taking out the yatra “aimed at exposing those acting against the Tamil culture”.
Rivals/detractors say it is meant to “flare communal tensions”.
The AIADMK government had not given permission for the yatra citing Covid-19 as the reason. With such efforts the saffron party, which has not been able to make much inroads in the Southern state (its vote share dropping from 5.56 per cent in 2014 to 3,66 in 2019) is aiming to consolidate Hindu votes.
Party president JP Nadda also recently appointed state vice-president Vanathi Srinivasan as Mahila Morcha national president with an eye on upcoming elections.
Meanwhile in Assam, the ruling BJP said it would campaign the next elections on two key issues —development and protection of the ‘civilisation of Assam’ from the ‘civilisation of infiltrators from Bangladesh’.
“The soul has to be there in the body. So, if there is development and no civilisation, this cannot happen. I think BJP will go the polls with equal focus on these two issues,” senior leader Himanta Biswa Sarma was quoted as saying.
“….But obviously it is development which gives people the good feeling,” he added.
In Kerala, threats of defections of senior leaders and resignations is rocking the BJP’s state unit where observers say “such open dissent was never witnessed before”.
Several senior leaders like Sobha Surendran are unhappy with the state president K Surendran and Union Minister V Muraleedharan.