New Delhi: In bid to expand the BJP’s footprint in south Indian states where the party’s prospects are weak, its national president Amit Shah has drawn up a master plan to extend the tested and proven divide and conquer policy to Kerala and Telangana.
According to top sources involved in the operation, the party is looking to trigger defections in the state unit of the Congress in Kerala and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in order to strengthen itself in these two states. It is revealed that the saffron party is focusing on attracting two prominent Congress leaders in Kerala.
The party claimed that as per the findings of a confidential survey carried out under the supervision of Shah, if it manages to lure the duo to cross over, the BJP would be able to consolidate its position in Kerala. According to sources, Shah has entrusted a BJP Rajya Sabha member, his close confidant in Kerala, with the task of holding talks with Congress leaders who are looking for a possible switch-over.
The party has shifted its focus to Kerala and Telangana after engineering the merger of the two AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu. While the covert strategy to force splits and defections in Kerala’s Congress unit will be spearheaded by Shah himself, national general secretary Ram Madhav will be in charge of the targeted operations in Telangana.
Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary Muralidhar Rao has shifted his base to Bengaluru for better monitoring and evaluation of the party’s calculated strategies for South India.
Shah is of the opinion that the growth of the BJP and the NDA in Kerala was hampered by the stubbornness of the state RSS leadership. Sources said that his decision to intervene directly in the party affairs in the state came after the RSS refused to cooperate with the leaders appointed by the central leadership.
Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan have also been asked to focus on the party’s game plan in Kerala.
The party is learned to be in talks with MP A. P. Jithender Reddy in a bid to break the TRS.
Sangh Parivar leaders Gurumurthy and Pratheesh Viswanath, who acted as intermediaries in the merger talks between the two AIADMK factions, have been instructed to play a proactive role in Telangana politics as well.