BJP woos Malayalam actor Gopi to boost poll prospects

BJP woos Malayalam actor Gopi to boost poll prospects

Trivandrum - The actor, who had campaigned for the BJP in the local body elections in November, is flooded with requests from prospective BJP candidates.



By T K Devasia

Published: Thu 17 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Mar 2016, 4:11 PM

With the two dominant fronts in Kerala led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress adding star power in the battle for power, the Bharatiya Janata Party too has started wooing film stars to boost its electoral prospects in the state, where it has not won any seat in the assembly or Lok Sabha so far.
The central leadership of the BJP has taken up the task of persuading action hero Suresh Gopi to enter the fray after the state leadership failed to rope him in. Party president Amit Shah has called the actor to New Delhi to force him to contest the poll from Trivandrum district. The actor had rejected the offer made by the state BJP leadership earlier but agreed to campaign for the party candidates. Accordingly, he accepted the party's invitation to inaugurate the election committee office of party veteran O Rajagopal at Nemom in Trivandrum district.
The actor, who had campaigned for the BJP in the local body elections in November, is flooded with requests from prospective BJP candidates to campaign for them. He has asked the party leadership to identify the constituencies where they need his support.
The central leadership of the party is trying to persuade the actor to contest the poll after the Congress included popular actors Jagdeesh and Siddique and CPM actress KPAC Lalitha in their candidates list. The Communist Party of India (CPI), the second largest partner of the CPM, is also trying for Mukesh, another popular actor.
Though the BJP leadership has cobbled together a third front with the help of Bharatiya Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political outfit of the Ezhava community, and some minor parties, the party leaders feel that the alliance is not strong enough to win many seats. Hence the party is trying to woo not only film stars but also prominent personalities in different fields to enter the poll fray. Apart from Suresh Gopi, the party is also trying to rope in film directors Rajasenan and Major Ravi and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Madhavan Nair..
The move by political parties to look for candidates outside their party folds shows the importance they attach to the polls in Kerala. The outcome in the state polls is crucial for the survival of both the Congress and the CPM as major players at the national level.
Therefore, neither can afford to lose Kerala. This is the reason why the Congress and the CPM have put more than one leader in charge of the poll campaign.
While, Chief Minister Ooommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and party chief V M Sudheeran will jointly lead the campaign for the United Democratic Front led by the Congress, the CPM has entrusted the task with party politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan and opposition leader V S Achuthanandan.
Though this is expected to make the campaign cohesive, political observers feel that it could lead to a huge tussle for leadership after the elections in whichever fronts that come to power.
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