Will Tamilians back BJP this election?

| BHASKAR HEGDE
Published Apr 13, 2014, 10:05 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
Karnataka Tamil Sangams President supports BJP, Congress candidate feels otherwise

Bengaluru: Tamil-speaking voters of Karnataka, who had by and large supported the Congress in the 2013 Assembly elections, might not back that party this time. The mood in the community looks like, majority of the 50 lakh-odd population spread across, Bengaluru, Mysore, Chamaraj Nagar, Kolar and many other places, may back the BJP.

The Bangalore Tamil Sangam one of the 23 such organisations in the state, officially decided on Friday to back Bangalore Central BJP candidate, P.C. Mohan. This seems to be the reflection of the mood of all other Tamil organisations in the state.

 

“Mr Mohan helped us a lot in the past and was very accessible. So we decided to back him,” said G. Damodaran, Bangalore Tamil Sangam president. He, however, did not endorse the candidature of D.V. Sadandanda Gowda so emphatically. For Bangalore North, he said, the Tamil Sangam left it to the discretion of the voters to decide their candidate. “Both are good candidates. So, we do not want to take sides,” he said.

But Federation of Karnataka Tamil Sangams, an apex body of 23 organisations, has taken a clear stand vis-a-vis the Parliament elections. The Federation president, K. Pugalendi openly backed the BJP candidates contesting the elections. Does that mean, all the 23 organisations and lakhs of Tamilians vote for BJP blidnly?

“Based on the feedback and inputs, I am telling you. The mood in the community is that we should support the BJP in this election.” While reasoning out, he listed three reasons: One, unveiling of the Thiruvalluvar statue by the B.S. Yeddyurappa government. Two, Congress government at Centre not supporting the Sri Lankan Tamils’ causes and its failure to protect Tamil fishermen being caught by the Sri Lankan government. Finally, projection of Narendra Modi as PM candidate by the BJP. I myself went to Gujarat to see the development. We were impressed by Mr Modi's work."

Then, did the Tamilians back the BJP in the assembly elections? If not, why didn’t they back BJP? “We are not rigid in our approach. We went by the popular mood in the assembly elections. Being a Mysorean, I backed Siddaramaiah in the assembly elections. This is parliament election, so we decided to think differently,” Mr Pugalendi said.

However, S.S. Prakasam of the Congress party has a different view on this issue. “Barring Shimoga where a small section of Tamilians reside, Tamilians in other places are with the Congress party. I feel Mr Yeddyurappa will get Tamil votes in Shimoga. But in other places, on an average 75 per cent of Tamilians in the state will back the Congress party candidates,” he contended.

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Location: Karnataka




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