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Only Way BJP Can Get Two Digits In Kerala If It’s Two Zeroes: Shashi Tharoor

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Arguing that the BJP’s vote share in Kerala has reached its saturation point, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor dismissed the prospect of the party doing better in the upcoming Lok Sabha election on Wednesday.

“I am afraid the only way they can get two digits is if it is two zeroes. The issue with the BJP is that they don’t understand Kerala’s history and culture. Communalism cannot go beyond a small limit here,” Mr Tharoor told the news agency ANI.

“I give Narendra Modi credit for taking a 6 per cent party to a 12-13 per cent party but that is it. The ceiling has been reached. We know they tried to reach out to the Christian community, but after the horrors of Manipur, it won’t work,” he added.

BJP has been wooing the Christian community, with the Prime Minister himself having met Christian religious leaders from the state multiple times, both in Delhi and Kerala, during his visit there.

The Christian community has a significant presence in the Central Travancore area of the state, and their vote is said to be significant in winning in any of the constituencies there.

Talking about his candidature in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, Mr Tharoor said, “The congress party has not yet announced any candidature nor has it told any of us that we will not be contesting. Whatever I am doing is working as a sitting MP. I have responsibilities to my constituency, which I am doing now.”

Reacting to the crisis faced by the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government in Himachal Pradesh after cross-voting by some of the Congress MLAs in the recently held Rajya Sabha, Mr Tharoor said the political development there was “disappointing.”

“It’s a really disappointing development in a democracy that a government elected less than a year ago with a 40-25 clear majority can be subverted in this way in an undemocratic manner. We know the BJP is extremely well funded, but it’s a misuse of both money and muscle power by the BJP,” Mr Tharoor asserted.

On being asked about the ongoing political turmoil within Himachal Pradesh’s Congress unit, Mr Tharoor said, “I am waiting for more details. I can’t comment beyond what I have read in the headlines, where I think it’s a betrayal of the people’s mandate. Every time the BJP does something like this. In the past, they have done it in 4-5 states. It’s a real assault on democracy,” he added.

Cross-voting by six Congress MLAs for the lone Rajya Sabha seat and the resignation of Vikramaditya Singh from the council of ministers plunged the Sukhu-led government into a crisis in the hill state.

The back-to-back developments brought to the fore the rift within the ruling party while the BJP claimed the Congress had lost the moral standing to be in power after losing the majority in the Assembly.

The BJP said the Rajya Sabha results show that the Sukhu-led Congress government has lost its majority, whereas the CM has claimed to remain in power with a majority.

LoP Jairam Thakur earlier said that the state CM should resign from his post on moral grounds.

“Congress does not have a majority, and they cannot pass the budget, so they suspended 15 BJP MLAs without any reason. They will now try to pass the budget, but it will be against the rules. If he (CM Sukhu) has even a little bit of morality left, then he should resign…” he said.

He further said that the action of the Assembly Speaker, Kuldeep Singh Pathania, to suspend 15 BJP MLAs is ‘condemnable’.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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