Follow Us:

BJP eyes gains in Kerala in 2019

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Buoyed by finally opening its account in Kerala in the 2016 state assembly elections and increasing vote share from 4.75 to 15 per cent, the BJP is eyeing a big chunk of Kerala’s 20 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general election.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today made no secret of the party’s gameplan for south India, especially in Kerala. At present the BJP has only one MLA in the Kerala assembly and no MP from the state. O Rajagopal, 86, won the only seat for the party from Nemom assembly constituency in 2016 defeating his rival by 8,000 votes.

“I am here as part of our party’s programme to be in the 120 Lok Sabha constituencies where we finished second in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. I will be meeting with my party leaders,” said Naidu during an informal interaction with the local media persons.

Clearly, the senior BJP leader had the Congress party in mind. If political experts are anything to go by, the BJP has been gaining at the cost of the Congress-led UDF. Given the BJP’s growing popularity, backed by the RSS, the party is projected to give the Congress a run for its money in the 2021 assembly polls.

In the 2006 assembly polls in Kerala, the BJP got 4.75 per cent of votes. The Congress’ vote share was 24.09 per cent. In the 2011 state polls, the BJP’s vote share increased to 6.03 per cent. The Congress got 26.4 per cent votes. In the 2016 state elections the Congress vote share shrunk to 23.7 per cent while the BJP’s further increased to 15 per cent.

Naidu called the Congress party a ‘sinking ship’ while claiming there had been no effort by the BJP to rope in Congress leaders. “We are not making any efforts to target Congress leaders in Kerala to join the BJP, but there are so many people from various parties approaching us,” the senior BJP leader said.

Naidu also slammed the Congress over its opposition to the use of EVMs. “When they win elections, the EVMs are fine and when they lose, there is a problem. We did not bring in EVMs, instead it was first used in 1989 and the Congress won elections in 2004 and 2009. The Congress is devoid of issues and hence raises non-issues. It’s an absurd and baseless allegation that they are leveling,” he said.