A list of new Union Cabinet ministers issued by the BJP has triggered a debate in political circles in Tamil Nadu, as well as on social media, by referring to ‘Kongu Nadu’, the informal name for a region in the western part of the state.
- The list mentions new minister L Murugan as hailing from ‘Kongu Nadu’.
- This has led to allegations that the BJP of trying to bifurcate the state, with the ruling DMK-Congress alliance saying the “agenda” will not succeed.
- It has also been considered an AIADMK stronghold in the recent past, and is also where the BJP’s limited influence in the state is concentrated.
- Kongu Nadu’ is neither a place with a PIN code nor a name given formally to any region. It is a commonly used name for part of western Tamil Nadu.
- In Tamil literature, it was referred to as one of the five regions of ancient Tamil Nadu. There were mentions of ‘Kongu Nadu’ in Sangam literature as a separate territory.
- In the present state of Tamil Nadu, the term is informally used to refer to a region that includes the districts of Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Karur, Namakkal and Salem, as well as Oddanchatram and Vedasandur in Dindgul district, and Pappireddipatti in Dharmapuri district.
- The name derives from Kongu Vellala Gounder, an OBC community with a significant presence in these districts.
- The region includes prominent businesses and industrial hubs at Namakkal, Salem, Tirupur and Coimbatore.