With no major Dravidian party on its side this time, the BJP is banking on the visits of PM modi and ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Pon Radhakrishnan who are touring the state this week, to increase its vote share.The BJP that made a debut in the state in 2014 with one MP seat looks relatively strong only in Coimbatore South, which has a large north Indian population and Vilavancode in Kanyakumari as of now.
There is no longer any opposition to BJP’s ideological expansion in the state,Rao said, asserting,”Tamil is part of ancient Indian heritage. Customs of communities from the Thevars to Vellalars are similar to customs across India. What is the contradiction between them and us,”he said, adding, “Tamil Nadu is a highly religious society. Every small village in Tamil Nadu has a massive temple, many of them are several thousand years ago. They are being shared and maintained by communities which ha ..
He added that times of either the DMK or the AIADMK swaying Tamil Nadu every five years is coming to an end. “These parties have become weaker, not what they were in the seventies.Even the anti brahminical discourse is outdated now. BJP is no longer identified as being brahminical party.Emotions associated with the Dravidian movement no longer exist in the society,” he added.
Talks with former ally DMDK chief Vijaykanth failed most probably because “he might have had an inflated sense of the worth of the communists and chose them over the BJP,” Rao said adding that they too were sceptical of him retaining his political base and were “objective but not emotional” about the alliance “We had informal discussions with him. Talks of alliance were on and we weren’t averse to his ambitions of being the CM candidate. He was positive about the talks too. He wanted to bring together other parties too. It is possible that the government to government relationship between the AIADMK and ours may have made them insecure,” he said.”
He however said the BJP did not view the People’s Welfare Front led by Vijaykanth as a movement against the party. “Presence of the the third front alliance only helps the BJP. The discussion to bringing an alternative to the DMK and AIADMK is important. And BJP is the only party with stamina, credibility and the hunger to penetrate into different areas and expand. Our delivery on value centric politics and good governance has stuck a chord with people and that will show.”
For almost a year the BJP has been wooing actors including super star Rajnikanth but hasn’t been successful in getting them in. Rao however feels that “untouchability” associated with the party is over now.
“By next elections celebrities will be running after the BJP. All of them are talking to us,” he said.