Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making a series of visits to Kerala as his Bharatiya Janata Party is set to intensify its stir over Sabarimala.
He will inaugurate Kollam NH bypass and address a public meeting at Cantonment Maidan aka Peeranki Maidan on Jan 15 and address the Yuva Morcha rally in Thrissur on Jan 27 at Thekkinkad.
The BJP sources say he'll return on another visit in February as the national elections are nearing and he'll club official and party programmes during these visits.
The 13-km road connects Kavanad and Mevaram, bypassing the Kollam city, avoiding the traffic snarls on the NH 66.
Works minister G. Sudhakaran had on Dec 24 said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the bypass on Feb 2.
For quite some time, there has been a tug of war between the CPM and BJP on credit of completing the four-decade-old project, the final phase of which started in 2015 at an estimated cost of Rs 278 crore equally funded by the state and central governments.
It has 190 piles and 46 piers.
"He's also expected to attend a government programme either in Palakkad or Ernakulam district on Jan 27. He'll either lay the foundation for the IIT Palakkad or attend a programme of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in Ernakulam," a top BJP leader told DC.
His trips to Kerala is part of his nationwide tour of 150 Lok Sabha constituencies his party lost. Though Kollam is not a BJP stronghold, the party decided to hold a public meeting there when he opens the bypass.
"In February, he is expected to attend two to three programmes. National president Amit Shah will also be visiting Kerala next month," he added.
The party has meanwhile backed the state unit in its efforts to intensify protests against the entry of women of fertile age to Sabarimala hill shrine.
The other day, Mr Modi too had openly commented against it.
Meanwhile, Sabarimala Karma Samithi will march on the Secretariat on Jan 18. They expect one lakh supporters to attend it....