Thiruvananthapuram:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two rallies in Kerala. He would address the Bharatiya Janata Party workers on January 6 at a public meeting in Pathanamthitta. Later, Narendra Modi would return to the state on January 27 to inaugurate a conference of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in Thrissur. It is reported that these two visits are arranged as part of the BJP campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.  

Modi’s visit is expected to give the BJP state leadership a boost, the party is facing serious criticism from various quarters for calling back-to-back hartals on the Sabarimala row. 

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In a recent interaction with party workers in the state, Modi, while referring to the Sabarimala issue, had told party workers to express their views firmly to convince people while following democratic and constitutional norms.

Earlier, on December 13, an Ayyappa devotee committed suicide in front of the secretariat where the BJP leaders were protesting. The BJP also called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on December 14 over his death.  

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BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai said besides the prime minister, BJP national chief Amit Shah would also address BJP workers in Palakkad on December 31.

Meanwhile, The Kerala BJP leaders began a sit-in hunger strike from December 3 in front of the secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram with several demands. Their main demands to the state government were the withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Sabarimala and removal of heavy police deployment in the famous shrine.

BJP leader CK Padmanabhan was shifted to the hospital after his health condition worsened. He went on a hunger strike organised by the BJP. On Wednesday he was arrested by the Kerala Police and was shifted to hospital on doctor’s instructions.  

On December 3, Sobha Surendran took his place and went on a hunger strike following the directive of the BJP core committee. It is reported that she might continue the strike till December 22 in front of the secretariat. 

With PTI inputs