BJP needs only 35-40 seats to form govt: Surendran

‘LDF govt. encouraging religious extremists in State’

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) needs only 35 to 40 seats to form a government in Kerala, party State president K. Surendran has said.

Asked how the party would reach the simple majority of 72 seats in the 140-member State Assembly, he told the media here on Thursday that “for that there are parties such as the CPI(M) and the Congress.” Mr. Surendran was responding to a statement by party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain in Kozhikode on Wednesday that the BJP was capable of coming to power in Kerala.

Mr. Surendran alleged that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was allowing religious extremists to operate freely in the State. Referring to the murder of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker allegedly by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activists in Alappuzha on Wednesday night, he said the police had failed to rein in fundamentalist forces. Across the State, extremist forces were into arms-training and the police were not doing anything to stop it, Mr. Surendran alleged.

“On the one hand, the Jamaat-e-Islami is reportedly playing a crucial role in the policy matters of the United Democratic Front (UDF). On the other, the LDF is politically allying with the Popular Front of India (PFI),” Mr. Surendran said.

He said the CPI(M) and the SDPI, the PFI’s political arm, had a tie-up in Pathanamthitta and Shoranur municipalities. Both the fronts were trying to gain political mileage through communal polarisation. They were competing with each other for the possible election victory through polarising religious minorities, Mr. Surendran said.

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