Devendrakula Vellalars should be removed from SC list as they don’t need quota, says John Pandian

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Thamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder and BJP candidate for Tenkasi (R) constituency B. John Pandian says he can get sufficient Central assistance to transform the constituency into a tourism hotspot, besides giving it a new look with investments in IT sector.

Thamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder and BJP candidate for Tenkasi (R) constituency B. John Pandian says he can get sufficient Central assistance to transform the constituency into a tourism hotspot, besides giving it a new look with investments in IT sector.
| Photo Credit: A. Shaikmohideen

While backing removal of Devendrakula Vellalar community from the Scheduled Castes list, Thamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder and BJP candidate for Tenkasi (Reserved) constituency B. John Pandian demands a nation-wide caste-based census for giving population-based reservation to every caste in education and employment opportunities.

Speaking to The Hindu in Sankarankovil on Wednesday, Mr. John Pandian said the removal of Devendrakula Vellalar community from the SC list was their decades-old demand. While their demand for combining seven sub-sects as Devendrakula Vellalars had been fulfilled by Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, their demand for removing the community from the SC list remained unfulfilled.

When asked if its removal from the SC list would deny the community the reservation and other benefits it had been enjoying all these decades, Mr. John Pandian said: “We don’t want reservation in education and employment. Our children are very intelligent and more than 99% of our people from even rural areas don’t want and need reservation. At the same time, a nationwide caste-based census should be conducted to give reservation in education and employment based on the population of every caste group. We earnestly hope that the next Union Government to be formed by the BJP will conduct the census.”

Mr. John Pandian said he was contesting from Tenkasi (R) constituency to transform the very face of the region since he had his ancestral roots in the constituency.

“This region has immense potential to be a ‘tourist hotspot’. But MPs representing this backward constituency in the past had failed in highlighting its ‘tourism potential’. Even though Courtallam is attracting several lakhs of tourists, it still lacks basic amenities. While floriculture is a predominant profession in this region, the growers’ demand for a perfume factory to ensure better price for their produce still remains a dream. The lemon growers’ demand for a cold storage and value-addition facility remains only on paper. I’ll strive to realise these dreams with Central assistance,” he said.

He said the closed spinning mills in Rajapalayam and Srivilliputtur areas would be reopened with financial and technical assistance from the government.

Mr. John Pandian said the Central government alone could take constructive efforts to rebuild the damaged Shenbhagavalli Amman check dam in the Western Ghats on the Kerala side, which was diverting water from Periyar river to benefit the farmers of Sivagiri and Virudhunagar.

“If it is rebuilt, the water of the Periyar, which is flowing into Periyar Tiger Reserve, can be diverted to Sivagiri in Tenkasi district and the dry Virudhunagar district for crop cultivation. The successive State governments did not take any steps for rebuilding it through negotiations with the Kerala government… Since the MPs from this constituency did not represent this issue with the Central or the State governments, the dam is yet to be rebuilt,” he added.

On the proposal for Madurai – Kollam four-lane national highway that would traverse Tenkasi constituency, he said it should be implemented without further delay even though it would affect a few landowners and farmers “as it will benefit thousands of people”.

He claimed that his candidature in Tenkasi had rebuilt Devendrakula Vellalar’s strained relationships with Thevars and other communities.

On the attacks on minorities, particularly Christians, in a few States, Mr. John Pandian said the media alone was holding the PM responsible for these “isolated incidents”.

“The perpetrators are being taken to task. I have high regards and affection for Mr. Modi for his selflessness and courage. We’ve seen many elected representatives who had amassed unimaginable wealth, but Mr. Modi doesn’t own even an acre of land. He makes every effort possible to take India to greater heights in global arena,” he added.



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