CHENNAI: After a gap of around seven months, the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP has a new chief. BJP national president JP Nadda appointed L Murugan, vice-chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), to the post with immediate effect. The post had been vacant since September 1 last year after Tamilisai Soundararajan was appointed as Governor of Telangana. Murugan is the second leader from the Dalit community to take up this appointment. SP Kirubanithi held the post 20 years ago.
A tough task lies ahead of Murugan as the State faces its Assembly elections next year. Significantly, Murugan’s appointment has belied all expectations from various quarters. More than 10 names, mostly of senior functionaries from different districts, were doing the rounds. Murugan, quite young, has to take along almost a host of senior leaders ahead of the elections. His predecessor headed the party during the crucial period of massive membership drive and succeeded in forming booth committees for a large chunk of the grassroots-level party units.
Tough task for Murugan as State goes to polls in 2021
The BJP has been eyeing the vote bank of different communities for some years. In 2015, the then BJP president, Amit Shah, addressed a public meeting where a demand for unifying seven sub-sects into one single tag as Devendrakula Vellalar community was made. A few years ago, a senior party leader went on record saying,"The BJP will not be approaching the alliance issue with a closed mindset. It will be flexible in accommodating 'social, non-political groupings' which have so far not adequately figured in the politics.”Murugan had been a functionary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) during his college days and had unsuccessfully contested 2011 Assembly elections from Salem (Reserved) Constituency. He had secured 1,721 votes.
He has done LLB (BL) from Dr Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai. He did his Masters in International Law and International Organizations, University of Madras. He also has a postgraduate diploma in Intellectual Property Rights. But, when the BJP appointed SP Kirubanithi as State president from Dalit community for the first time in 2000, there were allegations that he was ill-treated by many party 'veterans.' In February 2012, Kirubanithi joined the DMK in the presence of its then-president M Karunanidhi. However, he returned to the BJP within a few days.
As vice-chairman of the NCSC, Murugan recently had alleged that the murder of a BJP functionary in Tiruchy was a case of 'love jihad' although the State police said it was due to personal enmity. Till recently, Murugan was handling the complaint regarding the allegation that the office of the DMK party organ 'Murasoli' is located on Panchami land.