Undeterred by the hurdles, obstacles, government’s ban, arrest of cadres and threatening vehicles owners not to ply, the BJP’s much-touted Vetrivel Yatra culminated at Thiruchendur on 7th December successfully. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took part in the concluding event.
The Vetrivel yatra commenced on November 6th at the temple town of Tiruttani after worshipping Lord Muruga. The ruling AIADMK government denied permission to yatra citing Corona pandemic norms. But the BJP cadres thronged the venue in large numbers. The yatra was to go through all six abodes of Lord Muruga before ending at Thiruchendur on 6th December. But opposition parties claimed 6th December was the Babri demolition day and BJP wanted to create law and order problems. The state government denied permission to the yatra. BJP’s general secretary K Nagaraj approached the Madras High Court to quash the provisions of TN government order that prohibits such public gathering and allow the party to conduct the yatra as planned. He contended that the government order dated 31st October was illegal and unconstitutional. He even informed that they are ready to advance the conclusion of the yatra to a different date, if ending it on December 6 was the reason for the state to reject the application.
The yatra, as planned, moved through the sea of people on its way. On 6th November, police stopped the Vel yatra at Tiruttani near Chennai since the government had banned it because of the Covid-19 pandemic. On 7th it resumed from Vadivudaimman temple in Tiruvottriyur with limited members. The yatra was to make the public understand the DMK, Dravidar Kazhagam, VCK and its allies which had hurt religious sentiments of Hindus by denigrating the Skanda Sasthi Kavacham, ( spiritual hymn on Lord Muruga) by Karuppar Koottam. The Vetrivel yatra led by TN BJP chief L Murugan received an overwhelming response from the public. Due to cyclone Nivar, the yatra that was to cover Thanjavaru, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarar and later in Madurai and Theni was suspended. Police arrested BJP cadre and threatened them with foisting of false cases. BJP had planned to cover several religious towns en route to yatra, it did not go due to the recent cyclone. Despite all these odds and hurdles, the yatra reached Tiruchendur on 6th December.
Murugan, who was wearing green colour dhoti and shirt as a token of the vow, took a symbolic bath at the sea. He was accorded poorna Kumba respect at the temple. He then had the darshan of Lord Muruga. Talking to media persons outside the Thirucheendur on 7th Murugan said the main aim of the Vetri vel yatra was to pray for the wellbeing of the people the country amidst challenging times, where almost every household was affected by Corona. He said that they aimed to ensure the safety and happiness of the people of Tamil Nadu and would do more yatras. He said the yatra was to catalyse the consolidation of Hindus. Murugan said in his concluding speech “ yatra has achieved its goal. We overcame all hurdles and we will give a fitting reply to our detractors”. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the BJP would stand up to anyone who attempts to demean the culture and heritage of the country. He said Vetrivel yatra was a fitting reply to Karuppar Kootam, which had carried out a derogatory campaign against Lord Muruga through youtube. He was confident that the BJP could win a majority in West Bengal and script a future of Tamil Nadu politics.
A senior BJP leader said “Thoouthukudi district police blocked all roads that lead to Thiruchendur from 5th onwards. They warned severe action against those who violate the order. They denied permission to conduct the concluding day meeting at a ground. We had to organize it in a marriage hall with limited participants. Despite all this, police booked cases against thousand cadres on three grounds. Van, cab owners were threatened not to ply vehicles for BJP’s cadre for their Thiruchendur yatra function. But lakhs of AIADMK cadre were at Jayalalithaa memorial on her 4th death anniversary. Will the corona spare them by not contacting? The government allowed Christian and Muslim congregations. Even it allowed its bete noire DMK to organize a public gathering. It singled out BJP in targeting its yatra, similar to what Lalu Prasad did to Advani’s Ram yatra.
Knowing that Rajini would launch his political party, the CM, Deputy CM and ministers went to the Airport to receive Home Minister Amit Shah ( protocol does not require) and at a government function, they had announced that the alliance with BJP would continue for the forthcoming assembly elections. Amit Shah did not mince a word and not reveal his mind. They want an alliance with BJP but wants the party not grow in the state. They want BJP to be like Congress; to take whatever seats the senior partner offers. BJP is a national party, working hard to make presence felt in Tamil Nadu by winning a considerable number of seats to play a kingmaker's role.