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Kerala BJP chief: ‘Local body, Assembly polls next target … NDA has around 20% vote share, a crucial stage in our growth’

The BJP last week registered its best-ever parliamentary election result in Kerala, winning its first-ever Lok Sabha seat in the state, with actor Suresh Gopi, the winner from Thrissur, rewarded with a place in the Union Council of Ministers of the new Modi-led government. The party also increased its vote share from 13% to 16.68%. State BJP president K Surendran speaks about the party’s performance and the road ahead. Excerpts:

Our best-ever performance in the state went along expected lines. The “Modi Guarantee” worked. We dedicate our performance to the PM. We have garnered votes from all sections of people. While the vote shares of both the Congress-led UDF (United Democratic Front) and the CPI(M)-led LDF (Left Democratic Front) fell, the NDA managed to increase its vote share. Hindu backward communities and SC-STs, which are traditionally the CPI(M)’s vote bank, largely polled for the BJP as is evident in the Attingal and Alappuzha seats.

Mainly three factors: Even after losing the 2019 elections, Suresh Gopi continued to work among the people of Thrissur and intervened in their issues for the last five years. His charisma as a star and strong booth management are the other factors. We had a lot of outreach programmes among women and youths.

Effective booth management and nurturing of constituencies. We had the same strategy in other seats but it was more effective in Thrissur. In Attingal, the party made strong strides, which nobody predicted. In Thiruvananthapuram, where the party came second, there was a polarisation against the BJP in the coastal belts.

Yes, that is a significant feature of this outcome. Until 2019, nobody took the BJP seriously in Attingal, a Left stronghold. Pathanamthitta, another seat where the

Read more on indianexpress.com