After Sreedharan, Olympian PT Usha expected to announce formal entry into BJP

BJP’s two-pronged policy for Kerala: Progressive, clean and credible faces for young urban voters, for traditional and Hindu voters there is Sabarimala issue

After Sreedharan, Olympian PT Usha expected to announce formal entry into BJP

PT Usha. PTI file

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 23

After "Metro man" E Sreedharan, it seems Olympian PT Usha may also announce her entry into the BJP during the party’s ongoing ‘Vijaya Yathra’, which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched this Sunday with a ferocious attack against the ruling CPM-led LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan.

While Usha is believed to “always have a soft corner” for the BJP, the saffron party is also looking for “progressive, clean, and credible faces” to woo urban, young voters in the poll-bound Kerala. For traditional and Hindu voters there is always Sabarimala. Yogi Adityanath appeared to be the part of its tested and tried strategy to reach out to Hindu voters and those in favour of the Sabarimala traditions.

So far as Usha is concerned, the BJP has been in touch with her since long.

In 2016, she was designated the chairperson of the organising committee of the BJP’s national executive meet, raising eyebrows in political and sporting circles, though she insisted there was “no politics” involved in it. In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a synthetic track at the Usha School of Athletics. Recently she supported the BJP over farm laws and, also condemned climate change activist Greta Thunberg and singer Rihanna for “interfering” in India’s internal matters.

Usha is expected to join during the 'yatra' which will culminate around the first week of March. Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to be present and there are speculations about inductions, retired High Court judges (including a Muslim face), popular film stars and eminent people from the cultural and social field joining the BJP around then.

The party is aiming to expand its base in the elusive southern state with “credibility and credentials of good, honest candidates”. It is also trying to project two former DGPs with “clean image” Senkumar and Jacob Thomas.

Sources say the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) are making all efforts to complete the rebuilding of the Palarivattom flyover project (which Sreedharan is overseeing) ahead of the schedule.

Upbeat, BJP leaders say the party will certainly do of better than it had in the last elections when it won just one Assembly seat, Nemom. Recently, BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said the saffron party will “increase its support base” and “emerge as the third pillar” in the deeply polarised political scenario of the State.

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