Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 1: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Thushar Vellappally from Kerala’s Wayanad constituency, who will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, might bat upon Ezhava community.
Ezhavas are a socially and economically backward community and upwardly mobile through education and enterprise, which forms a quarter of the state’s population. Vellappally is the Vice President of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), a social and Ezhava community organisation in Kerala.
The SNDP spearheaded the social reform movement in Kerala in the first half of the 20th Century under the saintly leadership of Sree Narayana Guru. It mainly fought against casteist oppressions in the Hindu religious order and simultaneously engaged in social welfare activities.
Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) President Thushar Vellappally is also the Vice President of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), a social and Ezhava community organisation in Kerala. Communist parties in Kerala took inspiration from the SNDP Yogam’s social justice pushes. SNDP Yogam runs a string of educational institutions including several colleges and health care centres under the aegis of the SN Trust.
Tushar’s father Vellappally Natesan is also the General Secretary of SNDP. Natesan also holds the same position with the SN Trust which caters mainly to the Ezhava community. His father played a major role in socially empowering the Ezhava community in the southern and central parts of Kerala state, and remains as the voice of the community.
Mr Natesan floated the political outfit called Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) in 2015, which is now led by his son Mr Thushar Vellappally. Now, it is a constituent of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Kerala state. Natesan hails from a wealthy Ezhava family at Kanichukulangara near Cherthala in Alappuzha district, and runs contracting firms, hotels and other business establishments.
Thushar, who is also the president of the SNDP Youth Movement, was a sports man and the winner in Javelin throw in National Schools Meet.
To increase Congress footprints in south, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has announced that he would contest the LS elections from Kerala’s Wayanad as well as Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi—his home constituency. Wayaland, has a unique geographical location as it shares boundary with Tamil Nadu as well as Karnataka.
All the 20 Lok Sabha seats of Kerala will go to polls in third phase of polling on April 23. In 2014 general elections, nine seats were bagged by Congress, five—CPI (M), one by CPI, five by others while BJP failed to open its account.