The BJP is all set to shift its election campaign in Kerala for the May 16 Assembly polls in top gear with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national President Amit Shah among top party leaders slated to address some of the 70 rallies planned to be held by the party.
As the campaign enters the next phase, BJP plans to get top leaders to address rallies from April 25, chief among being Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Nirmala Seetharaman, party sources said.
BJP is contesting 97 of the 140 assembly seats. Its main ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a new political party formed by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a powerful organisation of backward Ezhava community, has been allotted 37 seats, while the remaining six seats to small partners.
District conventions would end by this week, the sources said, adding the next stage of electioneering would start by April 25.
BJP has pulled out all stops to give a tough fight this time to the ruling Congress-led UDF and LDF spearheaded by CPI-M in its bid to open its account in the assembly in the state where it put up a better showing in the November 2015 civic polls.
The saffron party has so far been unsuccessful in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state. However, campaigning of BDJS, led by Thushar Vellapally, son of Vellappaly Natesan, SNDP General Secretary, is yet to gather steam as the party is yet to be allotted a symbol by the Election Commission.
BJP State President Kummanam Rajasekharan, former Union Minister O Rajagopal, former party presidents V Muraleedharan, P.K. Krishnadas and P S Sreedharan Pillai are some senior state leaders trying their luck in the polls.