Prime Minister Narendra Modi's roadshow and his address at the Stree Shakti programme in Thrissur on 3 January set the tone for the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) campaign for the 2024 elections.
Thrissur is important for the BJP as it had done well in the seat in 2019 by securing 28.2 per cent votes and it is looking to open its account in the state. Actor Suresh Gopi is likely to contest from the seat once again.
While PM Modi's messaging was mainly targeted at women voters, given the theme of the programme, he also dropped a number of hints as to how the party would proceed from hereon.
Here are the top takeaways-
Focus On 'Modi Yude Guarantee'
He indicated that the election would be fought by the party on "Modi Yude Guarantee" (Malayalam for 'Modi's guarantee').
Using the slogan several times in his speech, he listed several schemes implemented by his government such as the Ujjwala Yojana, Matru Vandana Yojana and Jan Dhan Yojana and said that all of them were possible because of Modi's guarantee.
Neither Left Nor Congress Spared; Women's Reservation Bill, Women- Centric Schemes Brought By BJP
Taking on both the Left and the Congress, he said that both have always been together and their opposition to each other was only a drama.
He said that both of them had stalled the progress of the women's reservation bill for years, and their governments at the centre had kept women deprived of basic necessities for many years, but things had changed under the Modi government.
He mentioned many initiatives like Ujjwala Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, distribution of sanitary pads, and the increase of maternity leave to 26 weeks, saying that they had improved the lives of crores of women.
Further, he said that it was his government that had banned triple talaq, which was adversely affecting Muslim women.
Left And Congress - 'Anti-Hindu'
PM Modi added that they had been attacking the Hindu faith and targeted temples and festivals. Mentioning Thrissurpooram (a temple festival for which the city is known for), he said that the politics over it was unfortunate.
He also slammed the LDF government over the hardships faced by Ayyappa devotees while travelling to Sabarimala and said that it reflected its incapability.
Outreach To Christians To Continue
Continuing the party's outreach to Christians, he also stated that the BJP has been winning seats in north eastern states with large Christian populations, due to the development work undertaken by the government. He also stated that he had the opportunity to meet a number of Church leaders on the occassion of Christmas and received their support and appreciation.
He tried to draw a contrast between the philosophy of the BJP and that of others by saying that the party's mantra of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas' meant that they respected all faiths.
Suresh Gopi Most Likely Candidate From Thrissur
The prominent presence of actor Suresh Gopi on the stage with Prime Minister Modi and other BJP leaders, showed that he is all but confirmed as the candidate for Thrissur.
Political observers say that the programme was well received and it stood out due to the large crowd of 3-4 lakh who had come for it.
Thrissur, as stated earlier, is crucial for the BJP's plans in the state and the party in Kerala couldn't have asked for a better start than a successful roadshow and an address by PM Modi.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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