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IT cell of Kerala BJP releases pre-election campaign song, 'corrupt Centre' gaffe leaves party angry

Song and poster are part of publicity material for ongoing Kerala Padayatra, led by state BJP president K. Surendran

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 23.02.24, 06:11 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The IT cell of the BJP’s Kerala unit has released a pre-election campaign song urging people to “join hands to demolish the central government famous for corruption”, the gaffe leaving the party red-faced.

The Kerala BJP has also released a poster on social media bragging that its president would have lunch with Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe leaders. In a state where such blatant references to caste are frowned on, this is being seen as an act of condescension towards Dalits and Adivasis.


The song and the poster are part of the publicity material for the ongoing Kerala Padayatra, led by state BJP president K. Surendran.

“Let’s join our hands to demolish the central government famous for corruption,” go the lyrics of the professionally recorded song, released after Surendran’s march reached Ponnani in Malappuram on Tuesday.

Prakash Javadekar, BJP Rajya Sabha member and the party’s minder for the state, played the blooper down on Thursday, claiming the song had been composed when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power at the Centre.

“Kerala media should probe before printing news about BJP or for anybody,” he commented on X in English.

“The matter in Ponnani is a simple local mistake of playing the song prepared against UPA government in 2013. Such mistakes happen in newspaper also every day. No action is required. ‘Aayega to Modi’.”

Javadekar did not explain why an 11-year-old song had been released now and why the blunder had gone unnoticed until it became fodder for Kerala’s troll army.

He ignored the controversy over the poster, which was about Surendran’s programme of February 20. Surendran too chose to dodge the core issue and posed a counter-question, asking what was wrong with him eating with members of the SC and ST communities.

“I will continue to have lunch with SC/ST leaders. I always have lunch with SC/ST and marginalised people. I am not a Brahmin. I belong to a backward community,” Surendran told reporters.

He sidestepped the question why his party thought lunching with them was an extraordinary act, worth publicising.

Congress Lok Sabha member K. Muraleedharan slammed the BJP for leveraging caste.

“They can meet anyone and have lunch with them. But it’s wrong to brag that they would have lunch with SC/ST leaders,” the former state Congress president said.

Kerala BJP leaders have been known to embarrass the party by making outlandish claims, but this is the first time in recent memory that the party’s campaign material itself has landed it in a jam.

Surendran had claimed the party would win 35 of the state’s 140 seats in the 2021 Assembly polls, but the BJP faced a rout losing even the lone seat it had ever won in the state.

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