Kerala will be among the many states going to polls early next year. West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry, and Kerala are the states which are scheduled for assembly elections in April-May next year. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a remarkable southern outreach of late in states like Telangana and Tamil Nadu has been noticed by all. Now, in Kerala, the saffron party is looking to win the support of Christians, who are currently disgusted by the state of affairs in the state. In fact, it is the Christian community which is itself taking a massive leap of faith in favour of the BJP.
The Congress-led UDF has occupied itself in excessively appeasing the Muslim community, something which the 19 per cent Christian population of the state is not liking. According to a report by The Indian Express, the Church and a section of community leaders in Kerala, who were leaning towards the United Democratic Front in terms of their political choices, have been uneasy over the growing influence of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) within the opposition alliance. The BJP, as such, emerges as the only alternative for the state’s Christians, as the party has a history of not appeasing Muslims.
A variety of issues have contributed to the Christians of Kerala losing faith in the Congress party and its alliance partners. Among them, Muslim students unduly availing over 80 per cent of the minority scholarships in the state have been a particularly pricky point of concern. And then, the Kerala version of love jihad, where Christian girls are increasingly being lured by Muslim boys and then converted to Islam is also a major factor leading to the community beginning to look at the BJP as a real-time political alternative in the state. In fact, in something which indicates the tectonic shift underway among Christians in Kerala, Church leaders are expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon with these grievances.
“Support of the Christian community is very crucial for the growth of the BJP in the state. In the past, our efforts to get some regional parties to the fold could not succeed. We have to adopt fresh tactics to get support from the community. Our feedback is that the community is not unwilling to back the BJP,” a senior BJP leader told the Indian Express.
The BJP will be looking ahead to garnering the support of the Christian community to leave a grand mark for itself in the upcoming polls. Already, the saffron party is looking to consolidate the support of Hindus for itself. The BJP is capitalising on the erosion of Hindu support for the Left following the Sabarimala controversy. With Hindus and Christians on its side, the BJP will be able to put up a remarkable fight in Kerala the next year.