The BJP in Kerala is looking forward to the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the state next week in hopes that it would give an impetus to its campaign aimed at bringing minorities into its fold.
The reason behind the expectation, according to BJP state president K Surendran, is the “flow” of people, especially from minority communities, to join the party.
Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Surendran said the BJP will begin a massive campaign to bring religious minorities into its embrace with Modi’s visit.
He said the Prime Minister’s trip to Kerala would be a turning point for the party as even before his arrival, people have started flocking to join it.
The BJP leader said around 80 persons from prominent families belonging to minority communities joined the BJP in Kottayam district today.
More are expected to join the saffron party from Pathanamthitta district in the coming days, he added.
“Kottayam was the beginning. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kerala, there will be a huge influx to the BJP from the religious minorities,” he said at the reception held here for the new members who joined the party.
He also said the party has prepared a list of persons whom it wants to invite as members and these are people who are concerned about Kerala’s future.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla met Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church at his residence.
After the meeting, Barla said in a Facebook post that it was “positive interaction”, where many national issues related to the Christian community were discussed along with the mission and vision of PM Modi.
During the day, he also met with Archbishop Kuriakose Mar Severios at the Knanaya Jacobite Archdiocese at Chingavanam and visited the St Kuriakos Elias Chavara pilgrim centre at Mannanam here.
Meanwhile, Surendran also said rubber rates will see some changes soon.
Recently, a senior Bishop — Thalassery Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany — of the influential Syro-Malabar Catholic Church had said that if the Centre promised to increase the price of rubber procurement to Rs 300 per kilogram, BJP’s dearth of an MP from the southern state would be addressed.
His statement had created ripples in the political waters of the state.
On Tuesday, Surendran said the central government will take a stand favourable for rubber farmers and alleged that it was the state government which was lying to them.
He urged the ruling Left front to implement what it had said in the poll manifesto regarding rubber pricing and to indicate its stand on the issue of hiking the rubber price to Rs 300 per kg.