Times have changed, BJP will rule Kerala | K Surendran interview

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BJP state president K Surendran said the equations in state's political landscape are changing fast. “In Karnataka the BJP had just two seats and in Tripura it was nil. Today the BJP is ruling the two states.

This can be repeated in Kerala as well,” he says in an interview. Surendran believes that it would not be a difficult task for the party to raise its vote share to 30 per cent from the current 16 per cent votes. Edited excerpts:

What are the major issues that the BJP  is going to raise  during the polls?

Development crisis, corruption, communal appeasement by the two fronts, Love Jihad, 'loot' in devaswom board, the presence of terror organisations and the failure of UDF and LDF to take a firm stand on such issues. Are they ready to hand over Devaswom Board land to the believers?   Are they ready to bring a law against Love Jihad ? The two fronts have not replied to these questions.

Kerala government claims that lot of development has taken place in the state?

Only the development activities and schemes sanctioned by the Centre are being implemented in the state.  Despite getting central funds there is development crisis and  only corruption is happening in the state.

In many schemes there is no state government share. The state government has taken an anti democratic position that they just need central funds but would not give credit.

LDF has declared that it would not implement the Citizens Amendment Act and  the UDF has raised the Sabarimala issue?

The CAA is not at all relevant in Kerala so there is no point in saying that the act will not be implemented here. How many people are waiting for citizenship after giving applications in Kerala ? The UDF's dual stand on Sabarimala issue is very clear. Only BJP was in the forefront of the agitation during the Sabarimala issue .

The UDF has a tie-up with the Jamaat-e-Islami and the LDF is having an understanding with the SDPI. These are the people who are speaking against communism. Both the fronts  are trying to fool the people. If the  BJP comes to power it will bring a law against Love Jihad.

Will the Hindutva image adversely affect BJP in Kerala?

No. The BJP is not thinking of changing this image in Kerala. We are a party which gives lot of prominence to the  Hindu faith. But that does not mean  we are against other religions.

E Sreedharan  has said that he is ready to take over the Chief Minister's post.  The general feeling that both the fronts are not capable of saving Kerala is bringing people like Sreedharan  and and others towards the party fold. He is capable of holding any position. Two former  judges and many  prominent persons are set to join the BJP by the end of the Vijaya Yatra.

Will the rising petrol prices adversely affect the chances of BJP?

I don't  think so. The tax towards central government  on petrol is Rs 17. Of this  42% is  returned to the state. The  state government can reduce at least 10 rupees as part of their tax.  The BJP-ruled Goa and  Gujarat have reduced the tax. The same should be done here.

Isn't the factionalism in state unit a problem?

The propaganda that Shobha Surendran is sulking is not correct.  She is functioning in the party and she is very active. Major Ravi never held any position in the party and he  has not functioned in the  organisation. I dont think people are leaving the BJP in Kerala.

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