Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be in Chennai on Saturday (November 21) to take part in government events and meet representatives of the party. The visit will be keenly watched in Tamil Nadu where state elections are due in six months.
While the BJP has established itself in most parts of the country, Tamil Nadu is one of the few states that remain a challenge.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party could get only 3.66% votes in the Dravidian state, down from 5.48% in 2014. The BJP is pinning its hopes on Amit Shah’s visit to enthuse its cadre.
WHAT ARE BJP’S ISSUES?
Recently, the BJP tried to gain attention by taking up two issues. It campaigned against VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan’s quoting of the Manusmriti to “disrespect Hindu women” and demanded his apology.
The BJP also took out Vel Yatra in Tamil Nadu to highlight the Union government’s work but it was denied permission due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What was planned as a major show of strength has now fizzled out into minor events.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief Dr L Murugan said that Amit Shah’s visit to the state will instill fear amongst the political parties.
The AIADMK, however, said that Amit Shah’s visit is for the BJP and it will have no impact on Tamil Nadu’s ruling party.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that the party will insist on the release of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts, a topic which has gained popular sentiment in Tamil Nadu. The BJP has been against the release of the seven convicts.
THE SHAH FACTOR
In Tamil Nadu, #GoBackModi has trended on social media every time the Prime Minister has visited the state in the recent past.
The Dravidian parties continue to enjoy more support despite all attempts of the BJP to become a popular powerful front in the state. Religion-based politics still hasn’t got momentum here.
The BJP is trying to bring in popular personalities. Actress Kushboo Sundar and former IPS officer Annamalai have joined the party’s state unit.
An earlier report said Amit Shah was coming to Tamil Nadu to meet DMK chief MK Stalin’s elder brother MK Alagiri. This was later denied by MK Alagiri. Another report said Amit Shah will meet superstar Rajinikanth. This was denied by Tamil Nadu BJP in-charge CT Ravi.