The central leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is reportedly looking for a new face to replace the current president Tamilisai Soundararajan of Tamil Nadu fraction. The recent loss of the BJP in general election in Tamil Nadu is a severe blow to the state leadership. The phenomenal loss of Tamilisai in the constituency of Thoothukudi against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) Kanimozhi is observed as an example of Tamil people’s mandate against the BJP.
Many hail the victory of DMK as the most astounding victory of a regional party in the entire country. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the ruling party couldn’t make any impact and got only one seat comparing to the 38 seats of DMK alliance. Apart from anti incumbency, one reason cited for their huge loss is their alliance with the BJP.
In a recent article published in Swarajya online magazine, a self-proclaimed right wing media outlet, their executive editor M R Subramani had written that the Tamil Nadu BJP leadership had damaged the party’s prospects in the general elections. Beside the anti-Modi wave, Mr. Subramani is arguing that the lack of any communication between the leadership and cadres reflected in the election. He says that “the BJP leadership in Tamil Nadu failed to counter all these protests where false allegations were levelled against the central government and the Prime Minister.”
In another report published in the Times of India, it is stated that “the BJP high command had been keen to replace Tamilisai with a ‘more dynamic leader’, the move was deferred due to other important developments in the national front.” They have also listed out some names considered for the position such as Vanathi Srinivasan, a close aide of the new union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and a known rival of Tamilisai. Other names mentioned are BJP state intellectual wing president P Kanagasabapathy, BJP state secretary R Srinivasan, BJP state general secretaries Karuppu M Muruganandam and K S Narendiran. An anonymous BJP leader is quoted as saying, “while the RSS background would be mandatory, the leader should have a grip on state politics, the local cultural ethos, and also command respect of all leaders and cadres.”
The election results had shown that the minority and oppressed classes’ votes had consolidated in the state. In four of the seven SC reserved constituencies, the winning margin exceeds 20 percent. To change the game plan, the BJP can not rely upon their usual communal card alone in the dravidian state.