Kerala: BJP Eyes Consolidation of Electoral Gains

Thiruvananthapuram: Close on the heels of its remarkable performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, the BJP is embarking on a large-scale organizational overhaul aimed at consolidating its gains and formulating a comprehensive approach to expand its influence in the coastal state.

The exercise is designed to bolster the party's organizational structure in the state, positioning it for success in upcoming local body and assembly elections. Leading the charge is BJP national president J P Nadda who is making his first visit to the state since the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday.
Nadda will attend an extended state executive meeting and senior functionaries of front organizations. Later he will address a meeting of workers.
A comprehensive review of the party's assembly segment-wise performance will be carried out at the meeting. The BJP had opened its account in Lok Sabha in Kerala with actor turned politician Suresh Gopi winning Thrissur Lok Sabha seat by a margin of over 72,000 votes. The party also came first in 11 assembly segments.
Besides assessing the party's strengths and weaknesses, the meeting will also strategize for future growth and success. The BJP is making a significant effort to build on its recent successes in the Lok Sabha elections, particularly in areas that have traditionally been strongholds of the Left parties.
The BJP aims to consolidate its gains and expand its presence in these regions. The party is delighted about the significant headway it has made among the influential OBC Ezhava community in Kerala which constitutes 23 percent of the state’s population and is the biggest Hindu community in Kerala.
According to observers, a significant traditional Ezhava vote has shifted from the traditional Left to the BJP in Thiruvananthapuram, Attingal, Alappuzha, Thrissur and Palakkad as well as in the traditional left strongholds of Kannur and Kasargod. This development marks a substantial breakthrough for the party in the state.
The Ezhava community, long considered a diehard supporter of Left parties, particularly the CPM, is increasingly shifting its allegiance to the BJP. This shift is largely driven by the Sangh Parivar's vigorous campaign, which has resonated with the Ezhavas' concerns about perceived Muslim appeasement. The BJP's narrative has struck a chord with the community, leading to a notable drift towards the party.
The SNDP Yogam which represents the Ezhava community, has been actively promoting a narrative critical of perceived Muslim appeasement. This campaign led by general secretary Vellapally Natesan has resonated with a section of community members and helped the Sangh Parivar build connections at the grassroots level.
Notably Vellapally’s rhetoric has been criticized for being divisive and contradictory to the values of the Navothana Samrakshna Samithi, which was constituted by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to promote renaissance values, communal harmony, and secularism.
While Vellapally's actions have embarrassed the CPM, the party's response has been muted due to concerns about alienating the Ezhava community further. The Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) , the political outfit led by Vellapally's son Thushar, has struggled to make a significant political impact. However the BJP has benefitted from its association with the BDJS. The BJP-Sangh Parivar outfits which have a strong organisational network in the state have successfully engaged with the Ezhava community members.
The BJP national president Nadda’s visit coincides with the CPM district leadership meetings where strategy is being worked out to stem the tide of declining support in Left strongholds. A key aspect of their discussion focuses on the Ezhava community’s shifting allegiance, which is being closely monitored.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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