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Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, BJP plans massive outreach to Muslims, Christians in bid to make inroads into Kerala: Reports

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The BJP is planning a massive outreach programme to woo Muslim and Christian voters in Kerala—who together make up 46 percent of the coastal state’s population—to make inroads into the traditional Congress and Left bastion in next year’s Lok Sabha elections, according to a report.

Quoting sources, an NDTV report said that the saffron party has planned a huge outreach programme which involves BJP workers visiting the home of Christians and Muslims—the two key non-Hindu communities in Kerala—on the occasion of their respective festivals.

The report said that 10,000 BJP workers will visit the homes of 1 lakh Christians on April 9 which marks Easter Sunday, continuing the trend from last December, when thousands of BJP workers visited the homes of Christians during Christmas week.

The saffron party workers will also visit the Muslim homes on Eid in mid-April and Christians will be invited to the homes of BJP workers on Vishu festival which falls on April 15.

Christians will be invited to the homes of right-wing activists on the festival of Vishu on April 15.

Kerala BJP has hailed the initiative as being highly popular was lauded by the people and claimed that its being monitored by the ruling Left and the Congress.

The report, quoting sources said that BJP is also planning a “Thank Modi” programme, which will involve testimonies from beneficiaries of various Central projects in the state. Over 12,000 people have already sent in “Thanks Modi” videos in Malayalam.

During BJP’s national executive meet in Hyderabad, Minister Narendra Modi, had asked the party cadre to organise a “sneha samvaad” (message of affection) to the minorities in Kerala prompting the right-wing party to step up its efforts after it failed to make much impact with its outreach campaign in Kerala ahead of the 2019 polls.

The BJP which rules at the Centre, returned a naught in the 2019 election despite leading a vociferous protest on the Sabarimala issue. In 2019, the Congress bagged 15 out of the state’s 20 Lok Sabha seats while its allies won four.

The election outcome was viewed as Keralites rejecting BJP’s hardline Hindutva stance and its growth has been stunted in the state since, not less in part due to frequent communal clashes between the party’s hardcore right-wing supporters and Left wing sympathizers.

However, after being bolstered by completing a trifecta of wins in three northeastern states, the BJP is looking make inroads into a traditionally anti-right stronghold with high hopes of even forming a coalition government in the states where Assembly polls are due in 2026.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Deserted by key supporters, the Kamal Nath story looks set to wind to an end in Chhindwara

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail.

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By Neeraj Mishra

The Congress has lost Chhindwara only once since Independence when the wily Sunderlal Patwa was sent there by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test Kamal Nath’s hold on the constituency. Patwa won the 1997 by-election by a slim margin in the backdrop of Nath having forced his wife to first contest and later vacate the seat for him. Nath, however, returned to his winning ways the very next year and has won the seat nine times.

It seems possible that Chhindwara, the lone surviving Congress seat, will be lost again this time and may be forever. A day ahead of polling, the town was drowned in saffron. Not so much the effect of vigorous campaigning by Vivek Sahu of the BJP but the Ram Navami festival which brought out saffron flags on every rooftop.  The effect is likely to last since the polling is today. At 77, Nath is unlikely to contest another election here and his son Nakul seems like a pale shadow of his father unable to even make a forceful speech. The days of running Chhindwara from Shikarpur kothi are gone.

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail. Nakul had won by a margin of 37,000 votes in 2019 and the biggest lead had come from Kamlesh’s Amarwada Assembly segment. With Saxena in control of Chhindwara and forced to show his strength in his new party, it is highly likely that Nakul will not be depending on these segments. Instead, the Congress campaign was focused on Pandhurna, Parasia and Chaurai.

Amit Shah was in the region a couple of days ago and warned all BJP workers—old and new—against lethargy. His message was clear, the BJP wants all 29 seats this time. Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is camped here and using all his political acumen for the desired results. One such tactic was to raid the Shikarpur Kothi of Kamal Nath for his assistant Miglani who handles almost everything for him. With Miglani temporarily neutralised, BJP is best placed to repeat its win in Chhindwara in 1997.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Amit Shah files nomination from Gandhinagar

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accompanied by Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel.

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Ahead of the upcoming general elections, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah submitted his nomination today from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. During his nomination, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhuperndra Patel accompained him.

Former deputy prime minister and BJP chief LK Advani, who earlier served as a representative of this seat during Shah’s successful run for re-election.

Soon after filing nomination, Shah said, today he has submitted his nomination from the Gandhinagar seat. He said it is a matter of pride for him that this seat was represented by the former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and the seat where Narendra Modi himself is a voter. He also said he has been an MLA and MP from this seat for 30 years. The people of this region have given him immense love, Shah said.

With an astounding vote share of 69.67 percent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Shah maintained the BJP’s stronghold in Gandhinagar with a resounding victory. Election turnout has been consistently high in the city.

In 1984–85, Amit Shah joined the BJP. His political skills and organizational prowess were recognized, and he soon became the national treasurer of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Amit Shah’s political career took a significant turn in 1991.

Shah became the national president of the BJP in 2014, and he was promoted to the position of Home Minister five years later.

In the context of Indian politics, Gandhinagar is a historical landmark. The former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, won seats from Gandhinagar and Lucknow in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. However, he decided to stay to his Lucknow seat, opening the door for other leaders to set their mark in Gandhinagar.

Meanwhile, Congress has fielded its party secretary Sonal Patel from Gandhinagar.

Gujarat is scheduled to go for a single phase of elections on May 7. The results of the election will be announced on June 4.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai says party will sweep Karnataka and emerge victorious in Telangana, accuses DMK, AIADMK of influencing voters in Coimbatore

Annamalai expressed his confidence of a historic result for the NDA on June 4, the IPS officer-turned-politician said the BJP will see a rise in its vote share in Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu BJP chief and party candidate from Coimbatore seat K Annamalai said the time of Dravidian politics is over and also accused the ruling DMK and AIADMK of spending Rs 1,000 crore in Coimbatore to influence voters. Annamalai made the statement after casting his vote at Uthupatti polling booth in Karur village on Friday.

He expressed his confidence of a historic result for the NDA on June 4, the IPS officer-turned-politician said the BJP will see a rise in its vote share in Tamil Nadu. Annamalai further added people of Tamil Nadu are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

He said in the state of Karnataka the party is expecting a clean sweep this time. The State BJP chief said the BJP will be the number 1 party in Telangana. He said he was confident that Tamil Nadu will deliver a very big resounding result this time. He said there will be a rise in BJP’s vote share in the state and time of Dravidian politics is over.

In Coimbatore, K Annamalai is contesting the election from Coimbatore and is facing DMK’s Ganapathy P Rajkumar and AIADMK’s Singai Ramachandran. All 39 seats in Tamil Nadu will go for voting in the first phase. K Annamalai spoke to the media after casting his vote and accused the ruling DMK and AIADMK of spending more than Rs 1,000 crore in Coimbatore to influence the voters.

He said if the ruling DMK and AIADMK can bring 1 voter in front of the media to say that BJP is trying to influence them, then he will leave politics the same day because he is running in this election as a matter of principle. The elections to the state of Tamil Nadu will be closely monitored as the state has been at the centre of the BJP’s southern push in order to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 400 paar goal.

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