BJP is known for giving political power to powerless castes and at the same time not loose Dominant caste votes. A caste neutral CM or leader has good acceptability among smaller castes and castes that has no political power. Sarbananda Sonowal was made CM of Assam, he is an adivasi, A Non-Jat Manohar lal khattar got the confidence of Upper castes, Obcs and one section of Dalits. Devendra fadnavis had the backing of Mali, Dangar, Vanjara and linguistic minorities in Maharashtra. In similar faction BJP high command has appointed Arundhadiyar(Dalit) L. Murugan as BJP state president of TN.
L. Murugan is not a popular face even in the party circle. Before taking charge as BJP State president, he was vice chairman of National SC-ST commission. I welcome his appointment as state president because BJP is really working on Positive Social justice.
In the name of social justice, Dalits and Smaller castes are constantly fooled by the Dravidian parties. In Caste and communal centred UP, Mayawathi became CM with the support of BJP. In our Neighbouring Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Dalits are Deputy CM. In Kerala, Dalit Communist leaders rose up-to the level of a politburo member. Dalits in TN have not attained that level and despite being 20 percent of the states population.
I see two main factor behind the appointment of L. Murgan as State president of TN BJP.
- Caste and
- Region .
Caste : Among Dalits in TN, The Arundhadiyar community has less political voice. Intellectual Parayar Or Sambhavar community have Vidudalai Cirutaigal Katchi(VCK), Devendra Kulla Vellalar who are dominant in southern TN have Puthiya Tamilagam katchi(PT) and leaders like Dr. Krishnswami and John Pandian are one of the tall leaders from Devendra kulla vellalar community. But, Arundhadiyar community has no political voice. Both DMK and ADMK used to get their votes without any efforts. I all though agree that Arundhadiyar community got 3 percent in reservation in the Scheduled caste list due former CM Karunanidhi and one of the Rajya Sabha MP of DMK is Arundhadiyar. But, the number of elected Arundhadiyar MLAs in Kongu or western TN is abysmal low. It is here, where BJP wants to consolidate. BJP has good presence in Western TN , the votes polled by NDA in 2014 and 2019 is testimony to that. Many BJP leaders in TN in the likes of CP Radhakrishnan, Vanathi Srinivasan and Karu Murganandam are from dominant Kongu Vellalar or Gounder community in Western TN. And one section of Gounder community too sympatises with BJP, if we see booth wise results in 2014 and 2019 LS polls, we can know this community doesn’t shy to back BJP. Now, BJP wants to improve it’s position among another major caste and that is Arundhadiyar. BJPs ally ADMK has many leaders from Gounder Community, CM EPS, Health minster Vijay Bhaskar, Sengotaiyan, Thambidurai etc are from Gounder community and appointing a State president from Gounder community will not be a right strategy as Gounder community’s first preference is ADMK. With a backing of one section of Gounders and getting the backing of Arundhadiyar community would be a winning combination for the BJP in western TN.
Region : After Coimbatore bomb blast, BJP and Sangh Parivar became very strong in this region. From 1998–2019, see all Lok Sabha election results from this region, BJP/NDA has performed very well. In 1998 with the alliance of ADMK, BJP won two seats in Western TN, Coimbatore and Nilgiris. In 1999 with the alliance of DMK, BJP again retained Coimbatore and Nilgiris seat. Despite losing in 2004, BJP got good votes in Coimbatore. In 2014, without the Support of both Dravidian parties, BJP polled whopping 34 percentage of votes in Coimbatore and lost by thin margin of 30,000 votes to ADMK and principle opposition party DMK was distant third. In 2019 too NDA polled 33 percentage of votes. A state president hailing from Western TN, would boost the moral of cadres and it would help the party to consolidate it’s position. Bands organised by Hindu organisation in Western TN is always very successful. L. Murugan who rose to the president post is a grassroot politician and his experience would help the BJP.
This is not the first time BJP is appointing a Dalit as State president. In the year 2001, Dr. Kribanidhi became president of TN BJP and L. Murugan is second to join the league. When Dr. Kribanidhi was President of BJP in TN, BJP had 5 MPS and 4 MLAS in TN, I hope that with the appointment of L. Murugan, BJP would get more law makers from TN.
Author: Ajay Kumar
"The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of AKTK MEDIA website. The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article."