- Yogi Adityanath joined BJP's 15-day relay walk yesterday from Kannur
- Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Parrikar to join march in the coming days
- Amit Shah launched Jana Raksha yatra from Kerala CM's home base
The Jan Raksha (protect people) yatra - meant to highlight what the BJP calls the ruling CPM's "murder politics" - got off to a fiery start on Tuesday, with party chief Amit Shah's blistering attack on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath kept up the momentum, focusing on what he called "jihadi terror" and "love jihad".
In the coming days, Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Goa Devendra Fadnavis and Manohar Parrikar, will also spend time in the state. Several Union ministers, too, have been put on the Kerala roster - the list includes Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan and General VK Singh. In the absence of ministers, the party's office-bearers and general secretaries, including Muralidhar Rao and Kailash Vijayvargiya, are expected to join in.
The leaders are expected to relay-walk through the state, where the Left and the Congress have occupied political centrestage.
The focus on Kerala is part of party chief Amit Shah's mission to establish the presence of BJP in states where it had never held power ahead of the 2019 general elections. The BJP had won a songle seat in the last year's assembly elections in Kerala. The party has never won a Parliamentary seat from the state.
Asked how the leaders from the other states would communicate with the people in Kerala, since they don't speak Malayali, a local leader of the BJP said: "It is not about speaking to them. It is about making their presence felt in support of all the RSS workers who have laid down their lives.''
The BJP has alleged that since 2001, nearly 120 of its workers have been killed across Kerala by Left cadres, 14 of them, the party claims, in Kannur since the LDF government came to power in May last year.
In his address yesterday, Mr Shah said, "CPI(M) leader and Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan is directly responsible for all political murders in Kerala".