BJP Plans To Woo Christian Voters In Kerala, Asks Church For Names Of Possible Christian Candidates: Report
As Kerala goes to polls on 6 April for its 140 member assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has increased its efforts to woo christians of the state and even plans to field some candidates from the community.
As per 2011 census, while Hindus formed 54.77 per cent of the state’s population, Muslims and Christians constituted 26.5 per cent and 18.3 per cent respectively.
With little possibility of garnering muslim votes in the state who mostly vote for Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), BJP is eyeing on Christian votes, reports The Economic Times.
Some sections of both Hindus and Christians have fears about growing muslim population, cases of love jihad and increasing radicalization. BJP hopes to benefit from these concerns.
As part of the party’s efforts towards winning the trust of Christian community, Karnataka deputy chief minister and BJP's co-election in-charge for Kerala CN Ashwath Narayan on Monday (01 March) met Syro-Malabar Church archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry in Kochi.
“We are keen to gain the confidence of the Christian community in Kerala. We will address their concerns. We will both field members of the community in the elections and get their votes,” said Narayan.
It is also reported that the BJP has requested the church leader to suggest leaders from the community who could be fielded as party candidates.
However, Kerala BJP President K Surendran has downplayed the meeting calling it as just a friendly and non political visit.
Politically, by and large, Kerala has been bi-polar, with power alternating between the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front and the Congress led United Democratic Front in Assembly elections.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has been mostly a distant third, except for one assembly seat it won in 2016 and a few in which it came second.
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