The Dravidian parties that had a monopoly over the political discourse in Tamil Nadu are now in a state of turmoil. The changing perception against the regional parties in Tamil Nadu, amongst the general populace, has been spearheaded by three crucial events – the defection of Periyar’s grandson, Sathish Krishna, to the BJP, the recent row over Skanda Sashti Kavasam and the sacking of DMK MLA Ku Ku Selvam from the party after he praised PM Modi.
Grandson of Periyar joins BJP
On Wednesday, Satish Krishna deserted AIADMK and joined the BJP. His defection was hailed by the BJP as it would pave the way for other disenchanted politicians, from both the regional parties of Tamil Nadu, to follow suit. Earlier in August, several party leaders from the DMDK and DMK had joined the BJP.
DMK MLA ousted by party for praising PM Modi
On Thursday, the DMK broke all ties with one of its MLAs, Ku Ka Selvam, after his open praise for PM Modi did not go down well with the party supremo Stalin. As per reports, he is likely to join the BJP soon along with other MLAs and district presidents. Selvam had reportedly met BJP General Secretary (Tamil Nadu) Muralidhar Rao and State President L Murugan, besides party president (national) JP Nadda.
Although he was initially suspended, DMK ousted him on Thursday for ‘anti-party’ activities. In a statement, Stalin said that Selvam was working against party’s interests and had brought a ‘bad name’ to the party. While addressing the media, the rebel MLA had made several demands to MK Stalin which include internal party elections and dismantling of ties with the Congress party.
In his defence, Selvam argued that there was no rule which barred party members from meeting political leaders from other parties and that his dismissal from DMK was unjustified. Speculations are rife that Selvam will now join the BJP. He had reportedly claimed that several district presidents and MLAs will join the Bharatiya Janata Party soon.
Skanda Sashti Kavasam row
Earlier in July, a Youtube channel named ‘Karuppar Kootam’ had posted a derogatory version of a Tamil Hindu devotional song, Skanda Sashti Kavasam. The channel gave a ‘sexual interpretation’ to the song dedicated to Lord Muruga. In the aftermath of the incident, the DMK maintained silence over the issue while the BJP demanded the blocking of the Hinduphobic channel.
As a result, an entire village compromising of 70 families in Vadugapatti near Modakurichi joined the BJP on August 5. Reportedly, they chanted the sacred hymns of Skanda Sashti kavasam and performed puja at a temple. Impressed by the BJP’s efforts in safeguarding the Hindu religion, several DMK workers including Vice-President of Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency defected to the BJP.
While the DMK had earlier claimed that the BJP can never gain stronghold in Periyar’s land, the Dravidian party is now caught in a state of fix with its own shrinking voter base.