New Delhi: After winning Tripura in 2018, the BJP’s central leadership set its next target Kerala, which is the last leftist stronghold of the country. The Left lost West Bengal in 2011 after mass murders in Nandigram and has since not been able to repeat itself against the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government or the increasingly intrusive BJP in the state, where it ruled for 34 years. did. After the Left left Tripura, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah operated Kerala with great confidence. The BJP won 36 seats out of the 60-member assembly and within five years reduced its vote percentage from 1.5 percent to 43.59 percent.
The BJP leadership worked on strategies, identified key leaders, monitored developing conditions and tracked down everyone working in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s government, using multi-level agencies including the Intelligence Bureau and the Income Tax Department. The task force at the center scanned IT returns filed by important individuals not only in the government and CPI (M) party leadership, but also their family members. Such heavy surveillance was never done in the past.
However, BJP leaders in Kerala kept a close watch on Modi’s star power to usher in the election season. Whenever he met the PM, he was told that he had a ‘plan for Kerala’. But the Kerala BJP leadership failed to understand this game plan and sincerely believed that Modi would save the party in Kerala without his hard work. Now the saffron party in the state is paying a high price for their casual political outlook. The BJP is struggling to win five seats.
The BJP canceled the March 25 polling rally in Thalassery, where Shah was scheduled to speak. This is particularly unfortunate as Thalassery is considered a saffron bastion, where BJP candidate V.K. Sajeevan received 22,125 votes in the 2016 assembly election.
The BJP has committed six blunders following the Tripura model in Kerala as the party has failed to understand the political DNA of the state. In Tripura, 83.40 per cent of the voters are Hindus, while Kerala has 55 per cent of the electorate and 45 per cent of the minorities. In Tripura, the rest are Christian (4.35 percent) and Muslim (8.60 percent). But in Kerala, Muslims are 26.56 percent and Christians, 18.38 percent. Paul Zacharia said, “Kerala is not a state that follows other state practices and maintains its own unique identity. We have a different political chromosome of being a land that has co-existed with different beliefs for over 2,000 years. The BJP has failed to understand the basic dynamics of the land.
One of the BJP’s first mistakes in the state, was too much focus on the Sabarimala temple issue. Second, P.C. There was a failure to accommodate him. George, who won from the capital and defeated three fronts in the process. George quit the NDA after his demand for three seats was rejected. The third party received disapproval of the party candidate in the three constituencies. Chatha failed to project the Modi model rule in the assembly elections as an alternative to Pinarai’s government.
The fifth mistake was its inability to widen its base beyond the Hindutva agenda. And, in the end, its sixth mistake was to bump into ensuring the support of minorities. When a Catholic nun was humiliated while traveling in a train by the UP government on 22 March, there was a great political collapse in Kerala. In Kerala, BJP also wrote a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath regarding the arrest of nuns.
As Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remarked in his personal conversation with CPI (M) leaders in Thiruvalla on March 24, “They can try all dubious means, but we have to be vigilant.”