Chennai: The leather town of Ambur presents altogether a different picture from what it was in June 2015 when it resembled a battlefield which left over 50 policemen and scores of people injured. The town is now beginning to sport saffron flags as the BJP launched its poll campaign, seeking justice to the injured and those slain in the violent incidents.
Even before the list of candidates is released or seat sharing is finalised, the BJP in Ambur has launched the campaign for the May 16 poll hoping to gain a lead over the other political parties, which are also yet to nominate their candi-
The BJP is rather active in Ambur and Vellore. After state secretary of BJP medical wing Dr Aravind Reddy was murdered in Vellore, on October 23, 2012, the saffron party has been demanding the arrest of the culprits. It was also in Vellore that the Hindu Munnani's state secretary Vellaiyappan was murdered in broad daylight on July 1, 2013.
The killings of the Hindu leaders will be a major poll issue in Ambur and Vellore and the BJP hopes to take up development and infrastructure issues too. In the aftermath of the Ambur violence, sparked by the death of a Muslim youth in police custody in a woman missing case, BJP national secretary H. Raja had moved the High Court seeking assessment of damage caused to properties and also recovery from the perpetrators of violence.
Since Sunday, the BJP members have been campaigning, particularly in Nethaji Salai and Pookadai Bazaar areas. Vellore district has a sizeable Muslim population, especially in Ambur and Vaniyambadi towns and they are predominantly involved in the leather industry.
Politically too, Muslims are strong as their votes are the deciding factor and it is also for this reason that political parties often field Muslims as their candidates here. It remains to be seen how the BJP will fare in these constituencies surmounting all odds....