Anil Antony Joins BJP: BJP, which is trying to establish a foothold in the southern state of Kerala, has got great success. On Thursday (April 6), veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister AK Antony’s son joined the saffron party. BJP’s expectation from Anil Antony’s entry into the party is on two fronts. On the one hand, it will help in improving the image of the saffron party, on the other hand, it is seeing it as an opportunity to reach out to the large Christian population in the state.
The discussion started in January itself
With the joining of Anil Antony in BJP, there were discussions about whether this happened with the consent of AK Antony. However, AK Antony put an end to any such speculation by issuing a statement. He has called son Anil’s joining BJP a wrong decision. Also said, I will remain a Congressman till my last breath.
Central leadership approves entry
Sources say that Anil was in contact with BJP leaders since his resignation. Earlier this week, his meeting with BJP National President JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah confirmed his joining the party. Party sources say that the decision on Anil Antony joining the party was taken at the central level.
Anil Antony joined BJP in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, V Muraleedharan, Kerala BJP President K Surendran and Anil Baluni in New Delhi on Thursday. On joining BJP, Anil said, "As an Indian youth, I feel it is my responsibility and duty to contribute to the Prime Minister’s vision of nation building and national integration.”
Kerala with Karnataka also under eye
The BJP, which is struggling to expand its base in Kerala, has launched several efforts to reach out to the Christian community in the state. In Kerala, it is the dominant group of the community, which plays an important role in the power of the state.
BJP is eyeing Kerala as well as Karnataka, where elections are to be held in the state next month. There is a sizeable population of the Christian community in Karnataka, which is influenced by the Church. The BJP hopes that Anil Antony’s entry will help bridge the gap between the Christian community and the BJP.
Chance for BJP
There is uneasiness in the Christian community regarding the recent incidents of Islamic fundamentalism in Kerala. Many Christian religious leaders in the state have raised their voice regarding this. In such a situation, BJP is seeing this as an opportunity to connect with the Christian community, in which Antony’s entry is like a big hope for him. Many powerful Christian leaders in the state are currently disappearing from the scene. This is also a golden opportunity for the party. The campaign of BJP leader in charge of Kerala affairs Prakash Javadekar to meet Christian leaders is being seen in this context.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also given instructions to associate new groups with the party. The party has stepped up its outreach efforts especially after appealing for a change in attitude towards the Christian community in Kerala. PM Modi, referring to the victory in the Christian-dominated states of Meghalaya and Nagaland in the Northeast, had said that the BJP alliance would come to power in Kerala as well.
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