In yet another attempt to woo Christians in Kerala ahead of the 2024 general elections, BJP leaders in the state hosted a breakfast for community members on Vishu (New Year) on Saturday (April 15).
On Easter Sunday, the saffron party had organised a “sneha yatra” to Christian homes.
Former Union minister Prakash Javadekar, in charge of the party’s Kerala unit, took part in the breakfast meeting organised at district party president VV Rajesh’s house in Thiruvananthapuram.
Two priests of a prominent Christian denomination were invited to the event, and Javadekar received them by draping a shawl around their shoulders and served them breakfast.
Similar breakfast programmes were arranged in other districts, too, under the aegis of local leaderships of the saffron party, sources said.
Also read: BJP cosying up to Kerala’s Christian vote base, following NE, Goa forays
“This is BJP’s ethos”
Javadekar later said India is land of diversity, and the country’s ethos is to live and let live.
“On the Earth, this is one of the few countries where all people and all religions live together and festivals are celebrated by all. So, today is Vishu, and we all are here,” he told reporters.
Stating that the BJP leaders and activists had visited several houses on Easter, extending wishes, he said they called “all Christian and Muslim friends and neighbours” to the house of the party functionaries on the day of Vishu.
“So, this is real India and this is what we nurture…this is BJP’s ethos,” Javadekar said, rejecting the political opponents’ charge that it was part of their vote-bank politics eyeing the impending Lok Sabha polls.
Also read: BJP using threats, blandishments to gain influence among Christians in Kerala: CPI(M)
Javadekar said in a tweet that the BJP was conveying PM Modi’s message that “we are all citizens of India regardless of religion or caste.”
The BJP state leadership has already announced that they would also visit the homes of Muslim community members in the state to exchange greetings on Eid next week.
The BJP’s massive minority outreach programme is in line with Modi’s announcement last month that the party would capture power in the southern state.
Both the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress in Kerala have criticised the BJP’s bid to woo the Christian community and alleged that it indicated the saffron party’s “double standards”.
(With agency inputs)