Prime Minister looking at BJP’s performance in Christian dominated states of Nagaland and Meghalaya Narendra Modi had mentioned his dream of getting power in Kerala on March 2. Four weeks later, on April 6, veteran Congressman and former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony’s son Anil Antony joined the BJP.
The people here have been trusting K Karunakaran and AK Antony since the 70s. In such a situation, the question arises whether Anil Antony’s joining BJP will be beneficial for ‘South Mission’? Will Anil Antony, son of veteran Congressman AK Antony, be able to fulfill BJP’s dream?
Position of BJP in Kerala politics
Kerala’s politics has been in a completely different way. The Left alliance and the Congress alliance have been coming to power alternately in the state. The politics here is still bipolar. One is the alliance of the rest of the parties with the Congress and the other is the alliance of the Left. For the last several assembly elections in this state, BJP is trying to prepare its land. It also got a few seats in between, but the way BJP has tried there, it has not been able to make that kind of inroads.
Why Anil Antony joining BJP is so important for the party
37-year-old Anil Antony is the political heir of Kerala’s veteran leader AK Antony. He was born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Apart from politics, he is also a tech entrepreneur. Anil has studied engineering from Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. After this he did his Masters from Stanford University, California.
Anil’s joining BJP becomes important for that party because AK Antony is considered a big leader of the Christian community. And the Christian community in this state has been a reliable voter of the Congress. Anil Antony may not have been a big leader, but his being the son of AK Antony is enough to win the trust of the Christian community and this is where Anil Antony’s political importance increases.
Will Anil be able to fulfill BJP’s dream
Talking about the position of BJP in South India, BJP has never been in such a strong position everywhere except Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In this too, Kerala is the state where their vote base is the least as compared to other states.
Slowly, but BJP is able to register its presence in Telangana and Tamil Nadu, but in Kerala, so far the party has not been successful. This is the reason why BJP is trying to find its political ground in this state. In such a situation, the inclusion of AK Antony’s son in his party is no less than a big achievement for the party.
Besides being the son of AK Antony, Anil comes from the largest Christian community in Kerala. Which can prove to be icing on the cake for the BJP, because the Bharatiya Janata Party had been trying to reach out to the Christian community in Kerala for decades. Apart from this, he did not even have any such face on whom Christian voters could vote.
Congress has started helping the Christian community
BJP has not been able to win even a single Lok Sabha seat in this state so far. In such a situation, the Bharatiya Janata Party is constantly making efforts to bring the Christian community here in its fold. Last year on Christmas, the party distributed cakes to the homes of the people of this community.
BJP to project Anil Antony as prominent minority face
Looking at the performance of the BJP in the last elections in Kerala, they realize that the party will not be able to win seats with the support of the upper castes alone. If they want to get power in the upcoming assembly elections in Kerala, they will have to get the support of minorities, SC/ST and OBCs. In such a situation, the party will present Anil Antony as a prominent minority face.
BJP vote share on the rise
6 April 1980, this was the day when BJP came into existence. Since then, till now Kerala is the only state where this party has not yet made its political hold. The Bharatiya Janata Party has been fighting in the Lok Sabha elections in this state since 1989, but has not been able to achieve success till date. The BJP somehow managed to win one seat in the 2016 assembly elections.
BJP is constantly trying to increase its mass base in this state. All those grounds are present in this state which helps the party in the elections. For example, there are more than 50 percent minorities (Christians and Muslims) in the state. Here the RSS cadre is also very strong, in the form of an ideological rival to the Left. But still the Bharatiya Janata Party has not been able to achieve much success here.
Why Anil Antony left Congress
Anil Antony’s estrangement with Congress started from the beginning of January 2023 itself. At that time, he had criticized the BBC for its documentary on the Gujarat riots, which had created a stir in the politics of Kerala. He had said, placing the views of the British broadcaster over Indian institutions would undermine the sovereignty of the country.
What AK Antony said on son’s decision
What did younger brother say on Anil Antony joining BJP
Anil Antony’s younger brother and AK Antony’s son Ajit Antony told the media that Anil Antony may have his own reasons for joining BJP. Perhaps he felt that joining BJP would be right for his political future. I would say that BJP will throw them out like a fly in milk.
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