Kerala Assembly Elections: BJP president Amit Shah cancels poll visit

Thiruvananthapuram: BJP President Amit Shah, who was to kickoff his campaign tour of Kerala for the May 16 assembly elections on Sunday, has cancelled his visit following indisposition.

Shah was scheduled to arrive at the airport here this morning to attend a meeting of party workers and three public gatherings, but cancelled the trip as he took ill, party sources said.

The BJP chief was to address two meetings in Thiruvananthapuram and one in Kollam district’s Kottarakara.

BJP, which has not yet opened its account in the state assembly, is launching a fierce battle this time to make its presence felt in the state, which has been alternately ruled by Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and CPI(M) headed Left Democratic Front (LDF) for the last 30 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address six public meetings, starting with the first in Palakkad on May 6.

The BJP-led NDA’s 10-point vision document for the state was yesterday released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who said the party has emerged as an alternative to the UDF and LDF.

The saffron party has tied up with Bharat Dharma Jana Sangam, a political party floated by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, an organisation of the backward Ezhava community led by Vellapally Natesan.

For the 140 assembly constituencies, BJP has put up 97 candidates, while BDJS has fielded 37, leaving the remaining to smaller parties.