Centre’s strategic engagement with seers to strengthen influence in Tamil Nadu before election

Centre's strategic engagement with seers to strengthen influence in Tamil Nadu before election

South might have proven to be a far-off dream for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but the pivotal role priests from 19 adheenams of Tamil Nadu played in the new Parliament inauguration grand ceremony was an indication that the saffron party has been formulating strategies to make inroads into Tamil Nadu prior to the upcoming Assembly election, likely due in December this year.

Dharmapuram Adheenam, Palani Adheenam, Virudhachalam Adheenam, and Thirukoyilur Adheenam were among the Adheenams who left for Delhi on a special flight from Chennai to attend the ceremony. Of them, six heads of Dharmapuram, Madurai, Thiruvavadthurai, Kundrakudi, Perur and Velakurichi adheenams presented the ‘Sengol’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi – with Thiruvavaduthurai, Dharmapuram and Madurai being the oldest ones.

After presenting the ‘Sengol’ to the prime minister, Sri Harihara Desika Swamigal said PM Modi has always stood proudly with the Tamil culture and Tamil people. “Modi ji is the first PM who invited Tamil Adheenams and proudly encourages the Tamil culture in the Parliament,” he said, reflecting the emotion among the adheenams.

The sceptre Sengol was presented to PM Modi during the inauguration of the new Parliament building by the 293rd head priest of Madurai Aadheenam. But the fact that stood out was that not just one or the oldest, but “rest of the adheenams were also given importance” with the BJP-led government at the Centre.

India has been ruled by 14 Prime Ministers. None of them did anything worthwhile for the Tamil language. They ruled from a Parliament [building] constructed by the British… Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proved that he is a true patriot and made us proud,” said the head of the Madurai Adheenam

M Kartikeyan, an advocate associated with Dharmapuram mutt, said that numerous ancient adheenams have disappeared due to insufficient support and praised PM Modi for honouring them.

Another said that each mutt delegation was given large rooms and separate cars to move about. “The centre made it clear that not just the oldest and most popular adheenams but also the rest are given importance,” NDTV quoted a person as saying.

The report also mentioned that a dedicated caterer was arranged specifically to cater to the unique dietary requirements of each adheenam, ensuring that the food was prepared after individual consultations with the respective heads of each adheenam.

Over the past few years, the BJP has lent its support to the aspirations of Adheenams, standing alongside them in their struggle and to find more allies in the run-up to the Tamil Nadu Assembly election 2023.

In a bid to connect with Tamilian voters before the state Assembly election, the BJP-led Central government organized the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam and Saurashtra-Tamil Sangamam events, highlighting the deep-rooted historical and cultural ties between the regions.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s political strategy for the upcoming Tamil Nadu election is evident, but its impact on the party’s vote share remains to be seen.

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Updated: 07 Jun 2023, 04:24 PM IST


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