Shah tasks Kerala unit with poll preparations

Shah tasks Kerala unit with poll preparations

Bharatiya Janatha Party(BJP) president Amit Shah’s one-day visit to Kerala on Monday was expected to revitalise the state unit of the party as it goes through a phase of internal strife, said sources. 

Shah addressed party leaders and activists here on Monday on his first visit to the state after taking over as party president. Sources said the party president had next year's state local body elections on top of his list of priorities. 

Addressing party functionaries at an event here, Shah endorsed the BJP’s persistent call for an alternative to the two rival political fronts in the state. He also took on the “appeasement politics” of the Congress-led ruling front and the CPM-led Opposition in favouring Bangalore blasts case accused and People’s Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madhani.

“The party president’s visit was primarily to prepare the party for the civic elections,” BJP state vice-president M T Ramesh told Deccan Herald. 

Local reports talked of moves by the BJP central leadership to rein in factionalism and initiate a probe into the failure of party veteran O Rajagopal in Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha elections, but sources refuted the reports. Despite an increase in vote share over the past couple of decades, the BJP is yet to win an Assembly or Parliamentary election in the state. 

Shah’s visit to Kerala coincided with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s week-long stay in the state. Earlier in the day, eminent poet Sugathakumari and members of a joint action council formed against the proposed airport in Aranmula met Shah and apprised him of concerns.

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