Tamil Nadu’s President, K Annamalai, is preparing to embark on a five-month journey by foot, commencing on July 28 from Rameswaram. The yatra, named ‘En Mann, En Makkal’ meaning ‘My Soil, My People,’ will be inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah, and the party anticipates the participation of over 1.5 lakh individuals on the first day.
Narayanan Thirupathi, BJP’s State Vice President, stated, “The Padayatra will encompass all constituencies and districts. Our objective is to inform the Tamil people about the accomplishments of the Central government and Prime Minister Modi. Additionally, we will expose the misgovernance under the DMK rule. Each location on the yatra will have over 100 volunteers.”
Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district has been chosen as the rally’s starting point by the BJP. Thirupathi explained, “Rameswaram holds both religious significance and represents the southernmost tip of Tamil Nadu. We had to decide between Kanyakumari and Rameswaram, and we selected Rameswaram due to its sacred nature.”
There are evident efforts to entice Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest from a southern constituency in Tamil Nadu, partly because the BJP previously secured a victory in Kanyakumari. This endeavor also reflects the party’s desperation to reverse its lackluster electoral performance in the state thus far.
In 2019, the DMK alliance dominated the Lok Sabha elections, winning all seats except one in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The single seat won by P Ravindhranath from Theni has recently been declared invalid.
While the BJP has been gaining substantial support recently, its contribution to the national MP count from Tamil Nadu still remains insufficient.
During a recent consultative meeting of state presidents from 11 states and national general secretaries, many participants purportedly suggested that PM Modi should contest from Rameswaram.
Currently, the seat is held by K Navasaki of the Indian Muslim League.
Meanwhile, state BJP leaders believe that the yatra will fortify the party and facilitate their focus on winning the 2026 state assembly elections.
“In Tamil Nadu, the party has made significant progress over the past five to six years, and through the yatra, we will ensure that the BJP emerges as a formidable presence in the state. We aim to achieve victory in the 2026 state elections and sweep the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” remarked Thirupathi.