With the arrival of BJP’s big names in Kerala ahead of the elections, the saffron party is picking up its pace in the Southern state. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is one of the many names to have arrived in Kerala for the party. Attending a public event in Kottayam, he said that the party, if elected to power, would enact special legislation to protect Sabarimala and its believers. Union Minister Smriti Irani said that the UDF’s stand in the Sabarimala issue is tricking the people, while the LDF hurt the sentiments of the believers and they wouldn’t forgive the left front.
Rajnath claimed that the BJP government would take control of the temples from the government and give it back to the people, and new legislation will be formed to maintain rituals and traditions as they are. The Sabarimala issue has also created some strains within the CPM party hierarchy. The party’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the party would try to understand why Kerala Minister Kadakampally Surendran apologised over the LDF government’s actions during the Sabarimala issue. “The matter is under the consideration of a larger Supreme Court bench, and so such issues need not be discussed until the Court makes its decision. The Chief Minister will demand an explanation from Kadakampally Surendran on his apology,” said Sitaram.
Meanwhile, Kadakampally Surendran is having a tough fight against BJP’s Shobha Surendran in Kazhakoottam. In a recent Facebook post, he alleged that the BJP and Shobha are unleashing violence in the constituency, allegedly because the saffron party’s central leadership has ignored her in the polls. On the other hand, CPM Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said that the party isn’t against the genuine religious sentiment of the people and that Kadakampally Surendran was only expressing that sentiment in his apology.
Sabarimala wasn’t the only problem that Rajnath raised in his public speech. Addressing other concerns, he said, “The Uniform Civil Code will hold together every religion while moving ahead. The minorities do not have to be afraid of BJP, as everyone can continue as they are.” He added that laws would also be formed to address Love Jihad issues.
However, Rajnath and the BJP weren’t the only ones to talk about Love Jihad in recent times. Kerala Congress chairperson Jose K Mani said that the matter is gaining importance in society and that one must probe into the surety of such claims. Speaking to a Malayalam news channel, this is the first time that an LDF party — or UDF for that matter — is making such a claim during this election. On the other hand, with his statement, the LDF will now have to substantiate their stance on the matter.
Rajnath’s campaigning was sharply critical of the UDF and LDF in Kerala. He alleged that the fronts were trapping people by making false promises. “The Congress and the CPM are partners in West Bengal, while here, they are making false promises. Kerala needs a new political alternative and that is BJP. Despite the circumstances, development is not possible in Kerala. Young people are unemployed. If BJP comes to power, it intends to bring about a complete change in all this,” said he, adding that BJP has been growing instead of UDF and LDF.