Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which kickstarted its Modi campaign in the State in the Rock city that showcased the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate surprisingly opted not to contest from this prestigious constituency.
Tiruchy Lok Sabha segment which has seen the BJP in action in several previous hustings, did pitch for the seat during the seat-sharing bargain with other allies of the NDA in the State and this left the local leaders in a dejected mood.
However, local functionaries, who had already booked walls for graffiti, showed no resistance and were ready to obey the party high command in campaigning for the DMDK candidate
On September 26, last year, the saffron party conducted the ‘Ilam Thamarai Maanadu’, a youth wing convention, in Tiruchy aimed at drawing young voters towards the party and to showcase the youth vote base of the party, besides using the meet to promote Modi. State BJP president Pon Radhakrishnan talking to the media on the sidelines of the conclave then that his party would commence the poll work once the conference was over.
Since then, local BJP leaders, who were almost on cloud nine, chalked out plans to face the general election and wanted to prove that Tiruchy constituency was always the fort of the saffron party in the State. To drive home their point, leaders point out that it was Tiruchy electorate who sent former union minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam twice to the parliament.
Though the Tiruchy constituency was won by Congress and Communists in most of the general elections until 1996, it was during 1998, the BJP emerged victorious.
With the Modi wave reigning across the country, BJP workers appeared confident that the party would field a candidate in Tiruchy segment. Amid the cadre expectations, even as the seat-sharing talks among the NDA allies was on, the DMDK announced AMG Vijaykumar as its candidate for Tiruchy Lok Sabha seat.
Though the BJP men were upset over the DMDK decision initially, later they reconcilled and have decided to work for the alliance partner’s candidate.
“It is time to defeat the Dravidian parties. We have decided to prepare ourselves to work for the DMDK and it is also our duty to obey the party high command,” said P Parthiban, BJP district unit president.