BJP Pushes to Link its National Narrative with Kerala, Left Fights Back

BJP Pushes to Link its National Narrative with Kerala, Left Fights Back
By: Ritika shree
10 Oct 2017

Her decision not to contest polls would hamper BJP’s last minute attempts to woo the core Patidar voters back into the party fold.

Patel has been an MLA for almost twenty years. Interestingly, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy last week suggested in a series of posts that she made the face of the party in the upcoming state election.

As both sides attempt to expand their fight beyond Kerala, the target audience is clearly not just Malayalis.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju addressing an anti-CPM rally in Delhi on Monday said the only way to tackle the Left in Kerala was to “make people aware about their role in political murders”.

BJP’s campaign is part of the fortnight-long Janraksha Padyatra flagged off by party chief Amit Shah last week in Kerala. The party has followed it up with regular forays by its other top leaders, especially chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, including Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadnavis and Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

CPM has only two chief ministers — one in Tripura, the other in Kerala. So Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan took upon himself to take on the BJP bandwagon attempting to make inroads in his state.

BJP’s decision to follow its Kerala yatra with simultaneous protests in Delhi and some other state capitals may be attributed to the limited presence of the party in the southern state.

“The BJP is frustrated with no response in Kerala, which is why now they are taking it outside Kerala,” said NN Krishnadas, a senior CPI(M) leader in Kerala.

In terms of messaging, BJP is clearly using the opportunity to send a message to an audience both within and outside the state, and link its national narrative to Kerala and find a toe-hold in the ‘God’s Own Land’.

In Delhi Amit Shah accused the Left of thriving in a ‘political culture of violence’.

In the last few months, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has spoken on at least two occasions that Islamic State and Far-Left groups are converging.

Yogi Adityanath during his Kerala visit thus broached ‘Love Jihad’.

Interestingly, not just the BJP, but also the CPI(M), which had chosen to lay low all this while, has decided to take out a rally across the country, except Kerala.

CPM, on the other hand, has instead responded by hitting the streets in Delhi. In Kerala, their own backyard, the party has only fielded its top leaders to challenge the BJP.

“We will launch a full-blown attack once they are done with their Kerala rally. For now, let people in Kerala see what the BJP has got,” said Krishnadas.

Left’s campaign in Delhi is to rebuttal the ‘anti-national’ image being portrayed by BJP on national canvas.