Modi builds a bridge and sees a road ahead

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While picking civil servant-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam as Kerala's nominee in his cabinet, PM Narendra Modi might have visualized a bridge and a road. He wants Kannanthanam to act as a bridge between the party and state's minority Christian community and as a wider road through which young upper middle class voters can connect with the politics of development and nationalism which he preaches. Kannanthanam can act as both bridge and road easily while incumbent Rajya Sabha MPs from Kerala, Suresh Gopi and Richard Hay, can be either of them. Suresh Gopi is a favourite of the urban young voters and woman voters and there is no doubt that he can mobilize their support if given a chance. Richard Hay can connect the party with various Christian denominations but his efficiency to cash in on the development plank is doubtful. The 15% vote share BJP has already found in the state could grow to a number that can send a few MPs to Lok Sabha only with the support of the state's Christian community. According to the 2011 census, 18.38% of Keralites are Christians and 26.56% are Muslims. Indian girl used this fruit to lose 20 kg! Healthreport24 This 13-year-old is fighting Cancer Alone! Milaap Recommended By Colombia Despite several attempts, the party failed to mobilize minority votes which is a deciding factor in more than half of the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies, in Kerala. Sources in BJP indicated that the long-term aim of the BJP is to woo the Kerala Congress (M) which is now keeping an equi-distant policy with all fronts. While there were reports about cabinet expansion, rumour mills predicted the induction of Kottayam MP and KC(M) scion Jose K Mani into the cabinet which the MP himself had denied soon after. It is not a secret that Amit Shah hinted to Mani about BJP's eagerness to align with his party. But, Mani wants to first gather the support of the Church before migrating to the saffron fold. TOP COMMENT The minorities came with the blessings of the Hindu kings. Now you need their blessings to survive in the state. Malaikallan N SEE ALL COMMENTSADD COMMENT Kannanthanam, as Modi's envoy in Kerala, will have to woo the Christian denominations towards the BJP and through the Church, the Kerala Congress (M). With IT and tourism under his control, Kannanthanam can also impress the young professionals . Whatever the new minister does for the welfare of these techies and college students who aspire to be techies will send out positive vibes which can easily be converted into votes at a later stage.