BJP State president L. Murugan on Saturday urged the Tamil Nadu government to immediately submit to the Centre the report on ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’ compiled by IAS officer Hansraj Varma who was appointed as the one-man commission in 2019.
One of the main demands of a section of the community has been the renaming of seven Scheduled Castes in south Tamil Nadu as ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’.
In a statement, Mr. Murugan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to fulfilling the demands and urged the State to expedite the process.
“In May 2012, the BJP’s ‘Thamarai Sangamam’ conference passed a resolution demanding that the Scheduled Caste communities of Kudumbar, Pannadi, Kaaladi, Kadaiyar, Devendrakulathar, Pallar and Vadhiriyar be grouped as ‘Devendrakula Vellar’. In August 2015, Amit Shah, the BJP’s national president then, supported the demand while participating at a conference organised by the community members. In September 2015, 101 representatives of the community met Mr. Modi and presented a petition,” Mr. Murugan recalled.
The BJP’s manifesto for the 2016 Assembly elections had said the seven communities should be called ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’. “Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had accepted the petition in 2017 and said the demands would be considered. A report was compiled by Madras University’s Anthropology Department head S. Sumathy and submitted to the State as mentioned by her in a letter in 2018. When I was the vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, I had said at a press conference in Madurai that the Commission had accepted the demands and the State government must send a recommendation,” he said.
Mr. Murugan pointed out that Mr. Modi also spoke in support of the demands at the function to lay the foundation for the AIIMS, Madurai, in 2019.