RSS to pitch in for BJP's Kerala assembly poll charge

BJP state chief K Surendran has reportedly conveyed that he would not contest if Muraleedharan too contests.

Kochi: The Bharatiya Janata Party is set to formulate a plan to derive maximum electoral returns from 48 seats in Kerala where it is capable of bagging more than 30,000 votes in the Assembly Election. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will help the party in this effort on the ground itself as both will leverage their strengths to make a bid at putting up an excellent show in the Kerala Assembly Election.

The core committee members of the BJP' state leadership called on the RSS leaders at the latter's office in Kochi. Hitherto, the RSS wanted to extend limited help to BJP in Kerala and that too only if it is unavoidable. But considering the fast-changing political dynamics, which emboldens the BJP to even consider making a serious bid at power, the RSS has decided to bolster election campaigning efforts from the polling booth level.

The party, which had managed to elect its first MLA in Kerala in 2016, will also give extra focus on 20 out of the 48 seats identified so far as those with winning potential. The party aims to at least double the votes polled last time for the other nearly 100 seats.

Often the victorious candidates in Kerala state elections poll over 50,000 votes and manage a victory margin of a few thousand votes. Popular leaders have registered margins of 25,000 to 30,000 votes in their bastions.

The BJP leadership expects that with favourable circumstances and with the charm of its candidate it can grab a few thousand votes in constituencies where it has touched the 30,000 mark.

The party is expected to finalise its strategy for constituencies where the religious minorities are significant in strength.

The national leadership of the party has assured all help in the bid to increase vote share in constituencies.

Last-mile tasks

Three functionaries have been deputed for each electoral booth. They are the booth president and two representatives of the Sangh Parivar. Two such teams will be in action in the above-mentioned high-value constituencies where the party hopes to work wonders.

BJP is set to hand over a list of such seats to RSS functionaries concerned soon.

Eighteen departments to handle election campaign, financial mobilisation, house-to-house contacts and social media propaganda are about to be formed.

Candidate selection

Party leaders and office-bearers will contest in half of the 140 electoral seats in Kerala for which the assembly election will be held. For the rest of the seats minorities, women, dalits and youths will considered apart from personalities well-accepted in the public sphere.

The district committees of BJP have been tasked with identifying candidates for the latter 70 seats.

Suresh Gopi unlikely

Actor and Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi is unlikely to be in the poll fray even though he had evinced interest earlier to be a candidate in Thiruvananthapuram Central.

Union Minister V Muraleedharan, another Rajya Sabha MP, too is unlikely to make a bid for the legislative assembly, contrary to a few reports in the last several hours.

Party's state chief K Surendran has reportedly conveyed that he would not contest if Muraleedharan too contests.

BJP's central leadership will decide on the candidate short-lists.

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