Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor today said the BJP-BDJS alliance is unlikely to open its account in Kerala, where the saffron party had launched a spirited campaign against the ruling Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-headed LDF. “BJP factor is still unknown and it is assumed they will get more votes than last time. But BJP-BDJS alliance doesn’t seem likely to open its account in Kerala,” Tharoor told PTI.
The BJP, which has so far failed to send a member to the state assembly or Parliament from Kerala, had tied up with BDJS (Bharat Dharma Jana Sena), a party floated by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, an outfit of the backward Ezhva community, and some other smaller parties.
On the controversial Somalia remark of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former UN Diplomat said it would not have any impact on BJP’s prospects in the state.
Tharoor said 60 per cent of voters in Kerala would vote either for UDF or LDF. The real battle is for the remaining 40 per cent. Among this, there would be some who might have been considering supporting BJP, but because of the remark, some of them could have had a rethink, he said.
BJP is a marginal player in Kerala. If its votes go up, it has to be seen if it is from the LDF or UDF, he said. Asked about UDF’s prospects in today’s polls, he claimed that the Congress-led front had succeeded in getting its development message across to the common man.
Tharoor, who campaigned in over 37 constituencies from Kasaragod to Parassala, said he had seen a lot of enthusiasm among the people. The simple message is that UDF has an amazing development record in its five year rule.
Listing out some of them, he said the Vizhinjam deep sea Port, Kannur airport, Kochi smart city, the welfare measures, including free rice to BPL families and Karunaya benevolent fund have impacted the lives of ordinary people in the state. However there are two negative factors—Accusations of corruption and scandals, tharoor said.
Tharoor said voters whom he had spoken to have felt that allegations should be left to the courts to decide. What truly affects them is development or lack of it, he added.