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Kerala BJP upbeat as Narendra Modi set to take charge

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - 5:47pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: IANS
The BJP may not have won even a single Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, but that did not stop the party's state unit from celebrating their overall thumping victory in the 2014 general elections.
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The BJP may not have won even a single Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, but that did not stop the party's state unit from celebrating their overall thumping victory in the 2014 general elections.

There's another reason to cheer for the Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Partymen here are upbeat because in the recently concluded general elections, BJP's vote share has increased from 6.4 percent to 10.8 percent.

"We may not have won any seat, but our overall vote share has touched 10.8 percent. It has brought us cheer," said state BJP president V. Muraleedharan while speaking to reporters here Saturday.

The BJP almost had one success story though.

Contesting the Thiruvananthapuram seat, party veteran O. Rajagopal virtually did the impossible when he led the counting against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor right until 85 percent of the votes had been counted. Tharoor scraped through with a margin of just 15,470 votes in the final stages of counting.

"The stage has now come for us to take charge and to be the only alternative to the Congress party here as the Left has failed in doing so," said Muraleedharan.

"We are meeting May 23 to chalk out strategies for moving ahead. We are now thinking of the assembly polls to be held two years from now," he added.

Even though the BJP is yet to open its account in the 140-member Kerala assembly, the party almost doubled the number of its seats in the 2010 local bodies elections when it jumped from 550 (2005 polls) to more than 970 seats.

They also managed to come second in more than a 1000 seats.

When the Lok Sabha poll results were announced Friday, the BJP managed to find a silver lining in the statistical details.

While the Congress-led UDF led in 80 assembly segments, the Left opposition in 56, the BJP was ahead in four assembly segments in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency.

They also came second in two assembly segments in Kasargode Lok Sabha constituency.

"There is no doubt that we are going to do well in the 2016 assembly polls," said Muraleedharan.

He, however, denied knowledge if a BJP member from Kerala would be included in the Narendra Modi cabinet.

BJP sources, however, said the national leadership could pick one leader from Kerala for inclusion in the cabinet and those in the reckoning are Rajagopal, former state president Sreedharan Pillai and Muraleedharan.

Former bureaucrat, ex-independent legislator and now a member of the BJP's national executive, K.J. Alphonse, could also be the dark horse in the race for this elevation.




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