Chennai, July 31 (BPNS)
With the BJP ground report not in favour of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi contesting from Ramanathapuram, the party is scouting the possibilities of fielding him at either Kanniyakumari or Coimbatore. BJP leaders Pon Radhakrishnan and CP Radhakrishnan had won from these seats respectively. Coimbatore and Kanniyakumari have strong grass root bases for the BJP and hence there is a likelihood of Narendra Modi being considered for either of the two seats.
Sources in the BJP told BPNS that the saffron party was pitching for the Prime Minister to contest from Ramanathapuram loksabha seat. In the meeting of BJP state presidents, organizing secretaries and party senior leaders from South India held at Hyderabad on July 9, several leaders had put forth the idea of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest from Ramanathapuram constituency which has a sizeable Muslim population and to wrest the seat. The seat is presently held by Navaskani of IUML.
However after BJP conducted a detailed study into the seat, it was found that the party does not have a proper ground support in the constituency as well as booth committees. The party will have to piggy ride on the support extended by the AIADMK which is presently its ally in Tamil Nadu. This has prompted the party to think in the direction of Modi to be fielded from either Kanniyakumari or Coimbatore- both the seats have a sizeable grass root support base for the BJP.
Sources in the BJP told BPNS that the RSS is also receptive to the idea of the Prime Minister contesting either of the two seats. it is to be noted that BJP has been organizing several programmes in Tamil Nadu with party senior leaders campaigning extensively in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also proactively speaking on the Tamil language, Tamil culture and the recent installation of the Chengol from Tamil Nadu at the newly built parliament house.
Political observers are of the opinion that the BJP is planning a major headway into Tamil Nadu by using the popularity of Narendra Modi. It is to be noted that both Kanniyakumari and Coimbatore are constituencies where the BJP has around eighty percent booth representations.
It may be recalled that Congress leaders Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had contested from Chickmangalur, Bellary and in Wayanad constituencies respectively. This is also considered as a reason for the BJP mulling the idea of Prime Minister Modi to be fielded in either Kanniyakumari or Coimbatore seats.
BJP has big plans for South India and after the defeat of the party in the recent Karnataka assembly elections, the saffron party is trying to get a major leverage through Tamil Nadu and Telengana. As per the party’s detailed studies, Kerala is a hard state compared to Tamil Nadu and Telengana and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s candidature, the effect will be in all the South Indian states.
C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank based out of Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “ Prime Minister Narendra Modi contesting from either Kanniyakumari or Coimbatore can be a decision which have far reaching positive consequences for the BJP and the sanghparivar. The BJP has been active in Tamil Nadu for the past few years and party candidates had won from Coimbatore and Kanniyakumari seats. This plan will help the BJP enter into a positive mode in all the other South Indian states for the saffron party.”