The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to benefit from a 7-12 per cent swing in votes in Tamil Nadu in the Lok Sabha elections due to the implementation of the 10 per cent reservation on the economic criteria, party officials said here on Tuesday. "The 10 per cent reservation based on the economic criteria will benefit 65 backward class communities, 10 sections of Muslims and five sections of Christians in Tamil Nadu," S.K. Kharventhan, President, OBC Morcha in Tamil Nadu, told IANS.
"In the next Lok Sabha elections, we are confident that the beneficiaries (of quota) will vote for the BJP. Parties like the DMK and others claiming to be fighting for social justice would certainly be affected at the polls in the state." According to Kharventhan, the DMK and others are propagating that the 10 per cent reservation would only benefit the Brahmin community in the state.
"We expect about 12 per cent vote swing in the BJP's favour. At least 5 per cent of the DMK votes will swing in the BJP's favour. The DMK has filed a case against the 10 per cent reservation. Those who would benefit from the BJP government's policy are upset with the DMK," Kharventhan said. The BJP's Other Backward Class (OBC) wing is trying to reach out to people at the grassroots level. "We are highlighting the Centre's welfare policies, like Mudra loans and cooking gas connections, and how it has benefited the OBCs," Kharventhan said.
According to Kharventhan, 32 per cent of the Mudra loan borrowers in Tamil Nadu belong to the OBC. Around 1.96 crore people have borrowed some Rs 74,146 crore under the scheme in the state. "Both the AIADMK and the DMK are opposing reservation on the economic criteria. People who would benefit from the new reservation policy might vote for the BJP and its alliance partners," political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS.
According to Dhuraiswamy, forward castes are spread across the state and account for about seven per cent of the population. "The 7 per cent upper caste votes may go to the BJP," Dhuraisamy said. The DMK, the AIADMK, the VCK and the Naam Thamizhar Katchi are fighting for the same votes and are opposing the 10 per cent quota policy.
(With inputs from agencies.)