Kerala caste group leader backs Modi as PM
Velapally Natesan, leader of the Ezhava community of Kerala, Sunday backed BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
"In general, there is a feeling among the people here that the Congress-led UPA government has been a failure. It's most likely that in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Congress will have to pay a heavy price," Natesan said.
Speaking to reporters, he said: "The country will not go to the dogs if Modi rules. Gone are the days when the BJP was considered to ride on the Hindutva platform. Today they are considerate towards minorities also."
Early this year, Modi was chief guest at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Sivagiri Mutt, a famous centre for followers of 19th century social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, after which the SNDP or Sree Narayana Dharmaparipalana Yogam, which Natesan leads, is named.
The Ezhavas are traditionally engaged in agricultural labour, toddy tapping and ayurvedic medicine.
Hindus constitute more than 50 percent of the 3.25 crore people of Kerala, and the Ezhavas constitute a slightly larger number of Hindus in the state than Nairs.
(Posted on 29-12-2013)