After the BJP’s massive electoral victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Sangh Parivar’s fountainhead, the RSS, is converging for its all-important annual Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (National Council) meeting from March 19 to 21 in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, perhaps one of its last frontiers.
For the first time since its inception in 1925, the RSS will be holding its annual event in Tamil Nadu. With the north, west and east of India conquered, the RSS has turned its focus to the south, where the BJP is not in power in any of the states. Except for Karnataka, where the BJP is the principal opposition party, waiting to make a comeback in the 2018 Assembly polls, the ruling party in the Centre has little or negligible presence in other southern states.
Tamil Nadu, in particular, remains an impregnable state for the national parties. After ousting the Congress from power in the state in 1967, the DMK, the first regional party to win the Assembly elections, and its offshoot AIADMK continue to rule the state till date. The Dravidian parties celebrated 50 years of power in Tamil Nadu on March 6 this year to mark the swearing-in of DMK founder CN Annadurai-led ministry in 1967.
The massive victory in UP would have certainly energised their cadres, but that would not be enough to make deeper inroads in the south, he said, adding that the saffron party has a good chance of coming back to power in Karnataka, where the ruling Congress is faced with infighting. The infighting in Congress is so bad that senior leader SM Krishna had quit the party and is said to be joining the BJP.
After winning its first Assembly seat in Kerala, the BJP and RSS are leaving no stone unturned to make a mark in the state where Christians and Muslims constitute 45 per cent of the population. Ever since the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front came to power, the clash between the RSS and the Marxist cadres in Kannur has escalated. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the BJP is maintaining a low profile as the Telugu Desam Party is their ally in both the states.
An RSS leader in Tamil Nadu said that the decision to hold the ABPS meeting in Tamil Nadu was taken last year itself and has nothing to do with the state’s current political development. The annual meeting of the ABPS, the highest decision-making body of the Sangh parivar, is held in the month of March every year. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi will inaugurate the meeting. BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari are among the top party leaders expected to attend the meeting on the last day, March 21.