Yesterday (12 October), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) created a flutter in Tamil Nadu political circles, roping in the popular actor of 1990s Kushboo Sundar, who had been with the Indian National Congress, for the last six years.
Along with her, there was a surprise induction into the national party — that of Madan Ravichandran.
In fact, his joining the party created a ripple on social media as well as political circles.
Ravichandran is one of the younger generation people in Tamil Nadu capable of taking on the Dravidian parties — Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazahagam (AIADMK).
He owes his popularity to the electronic media, particularly Win TV and Cauvery Digital News, where he interviewed different politicians. Among his popular interviews are the one in which he quizzed Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) chief K Veeramani and another DK stalwart, Suba Veerapandian.
Former Tamil Nadu member of the legislative Assembly, Pazha Karuppiah, faced some tough questioning by Ravichandran; so much so that he chose to stop the interview altogether.
Ravichandran has also been active on social media, calling out the various occasions of doublespeak by the Dravidian parties.
Recently, he had quit his television job and launched his own YouTube channel “Madan Diary”. The channel got a good response from his followers and fans.
It is under these circumstances that Ravichandran has joined the BJP, and the latter will now get another person to stoutly defend its policies, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Tamil Nadu.
The development comes ahead of the state assembly elections due in seven months time. The BJP is part of the alliance in the state headed by the AIADMK.
The national party, however, is looking at options to either go it alone or form a new alliance, what with some of the new entrants such as former Karnataka Indian Police Service official K Annamalai adding strength.
Though BJP has gone all out to engineer defections in other parties, such as the Congress and DMK for short-term optics, some of its new entrants such as Annamalai and Ravichandran can be real assets.
Annamalai has been putting the DMK, in particular, on the backfoot by exposing its double-standards and false campaigns. In fact, he is one of the most 'trolled' BJP party members now in Tamil Nadu by the DMK and those opposed to the BJP.
Ravichandran is a bold youth, who has not shied away from criticising the DMK despite threats. There have been occasions when he has been physically attacked but he has been bold enough to face them.
With his deep understanding of the state and Dravidian politics, he now brings new ammunition for the BJP to take on the opposition parties. On the other hand, his entry into BJP will now give him protection against physical attacks.
One advantage that Ravichandran gives the BJP is his appeal on the social media. This, in turn, can help him connect with the common man.
More importantly, the BJP now has a person who can throw the pages from Dravidian history at the DMK and others who support it.
By getting in a person who can put the Dravidian camp in Tamil Nadu on the backfoot, the BJP is probably preparing for the long-run, possibly with an eye on Fort St George later on.
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