While BJP has strengthened their campaign efforts in Kerala, the party leadership is split over a very complicated issue: welcoming Indian Union Muslim League into their folds. “The Congress is a sinking vessel, and the League cannot accept CPM. If the League is willing to accept Narendra Modi’s policies, then we are more than willing to invite them to the NDA,” said Shobha Surendran. She was speaking at the BJP’s Vijaya Yatra venue, where she said that this is the party’s decision, reminding the audience of the alliance between the National Conference and BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
On the other hand, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, calling the League a “communal party” said that the BJP would not align with the IUML. He was talking to the media after visiting the house of the slain RSS worker Nandu R Krishna, alongside Union Minister V Muraleedharan. While Shobha said that her stance was that of the party’s, Pralhad Joshi’s claims seem to be disproving that fact. On the other hand, BJP state president K Surendran seems to be unable to decide where to stand.
During a press conference as part of the Vijaya Yatra, Surendran denied any future or present alliance with the IUML as they have “split the country apart”. This has caused a split within the part, with both Shobha and Surendran unwilling to go back on their statements. On the same line, K Surendran had already made some strong claims in this regard. Citing the incident at the Kozhikode railway station were explosives were uncovered, Surendran said that Kerala is a state with a strong Islamic terrorist presence.
“Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami in UDF and SDPI in LDF have gotten stronger over the years, and they have high influence within their respective alliances. Because of this, a call for a separate Malabar region has gotten louder over the years,” he said, adding that the BJP would bring a UP-like ‘Love Jihad’ law to the Southern state. “A Love Jihad law is very important to a state like Kerala, as a lot of marriages take place here to convert woman into Islam,” he said. He added that even the Christian communities are supporting the Love Jihad law.
However, following criticism of differing opinions, as well as considering the upcoming elections, Surendran changed his tunes to say that he and Shobha meant the same thing. “IUML is the country’s biggest communal party, but if they change their stance, then we might ask them if they are willing to join the NDA. Moreover, we will welcome anyone who leaves the league and join us. There is no difference of opinion between Shobha and me regarding the League,” he said.