Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP in Kerala is likely to get a prize catch with popular Malayalam film actor Suresh Gopi joining the party soon.
Apart from Gopi himself throwing sufficient hints at his political preference and lavishing praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP state leadership has admitted that they are in touch with the actor and he might take a final call soon.
The 55-year-old actor, who has to his credit several angry young man as well as upright cop roles in police dramas since the 1990s, has said he will not say "no" if BJP leaders invited him to join the party.
"We will whole-heartedly welcome Suresh Gopi if he wishes to join the party. It is for him to take a decision at the appropriate time," BJP state president V Muraleedharan told PTI when asked about speculation in this regard.
"We had a conversation a couple of months back. We discussed the political circumstances in the state. He was enthusiastic about the changes that have taken place in the country with BJP government led by Narendra Modi coming to power at the Centre. But as far as his joining the party, it is for him to take a decision", the BJP leader said.
Interestingly, the official daily of Congress, "Veekshnam", recently carried a stinging editorial attacking Suresh Gopi's pro-saffron tilt.
According to the state leadership, the biggest challenge before the party in Kerala is to make an electoral breakthrough by opening account in the assembly. This requires expanding the party's support base and boosting its image by luring in eminent personalities from various walks of life.
The state unit sees the coming civic polls as an opportunity to demonstrate the growing influence of the party in Kerala, where the political scene has been dominated by the coalitions led by Congress and CPI-M for decades. The local body polls, to be held by the year-end, is also seen as a dress rehearsal for assembly elections in early 2016.
Though BJP has an extensive organisational network in the state, it has consistently failed to win a single seat in the assembly or Parliament in Kerala.
Its best-ever performance was in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat during the last polls when senior leader O Rajagopal finished a close second to Congress' Shashi Tharoor, relegating the LDF candidate to third slot.