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Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 10:57 am

Tuesday, July 16, 2024, 10:57 am

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Will the BJP benefit from the South push?

BJP
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The Narendra Modi government’s declared goal of securing 400+ seats for the NDA and over 370 seats for the BJP in the next general election has given its southern drive greater impetus, since it is almost at saturation in the northern zone. The decision was made to establish a presence in Kerala and expand into Tamil Nadu. To grow the NDA family, it is also forming new relationships in the South in this framework. Thirty-one Lok Sabha seats come from the union territory of Puducherry as well as the five states south of the Vindhyas: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. In these states historically, the Congress and local parties have had the upper hand. In Kerala, the United Democratic Front, led by the Congress, and the Left Democratic Front, led by the CPI-M, have traded positions of authority. Apart from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the BJP has not been able to secure election victories in any of the southern states, mostly due to its perception as a north Indian political party that lacks cultural affinities with the region. The saffron party is committed to altering this view. As part of the eleven-day ceremonies leading up to the dedication ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited temples in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telan­gana. It was obviously intended to attract voters in these states.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the saffron party won 26 of the 28 seats in Karnataka; however, in the 2023 Assembly election, the Congress defeated them. The BJP is counting on the fact that voters in one state—Karnataka—vote differently in state and parliamentary elections. The coastal region of Karnataka is a stronghold for the saffron party, as the RSS has been actively developing its Hindutva laboratory there for a number of years. In an effort to hold onto its vote and seat share in the state, it has also partnered with HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal Secular. The BJP, which has been somewhat successful in Karnataka, is now concentrating on Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where it has not yet found much success. The saffron party’s intentions are shown by Modi’s regular visits to these two states and the barrage of project announcements. It has succeeded in enlisting the children of two previous Congress chief ministers from Kerala, Anil Antony and Padmaja Venugopal, respectively, A. K. Antony and K. Karunakaran. Both of them have been granted tickets to run in the Lok Sabha elections. Even in the event that they are not successful, the publicity surrounding their BJP admission has succeeded in drawing attention to issues inside the Congress. Rajeev Chandrashekhar and V Muralidharan, two Union ministers, are also running; the former in Thiruvananthapuram against the well-known Shashi Tharoor. It is quite likely that the BJP will make its debut in Kerala, maybe in Thrissur, where actor Suresh Gopi is a contender.

The BJP has a strong opponent in the DMK-led coalition in nearby Tamil Nadu, which also includes the Left and the Congress. After cutting its links to the Saffron Party, the AIADMK is currently attempting to form coalitions with O Paneerselvam and the Dhinakaran branch of the party. The youthful, charismatic K Annamalai, a former IPS officer who has generated a lot of buzz, is the leader of the BJP in Tamil Nadu. Whether his popularity will result in votes is still up in the air. Even though Udayanidhi Stalin, the son of Chief Minister M K Stalin, has been involved in the Sanatana Dharma dispute, it has not had any impact on the state, despite causing issues for other members of the Indian National Defence Institute in northern India. The alliance between actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena and Telugu Desam Party, led by Chandrababu Naidu, has improved the NDA’s prospects in Andhra Pradesh. Despite not joining the NDA, Jagan Reddy’s YSRCP has never opposed the national administration. Thus, the BJP has won that battle. In Telangana, too, the saffron party is not to be underestimated, as the Congress defeated the BRS handily in the Assembly election. In addition to being economically more successful than their counterparts in the north and east, the southern states have made notable strides towards demographic stability. They will suffer as a result of this during the delimitation process, which will decrease the number of seats in the southern states. Up until that point, the BJP is making every effort to win over these states and refute the myth of a North-South split. It seeks to accomplish its goal of 370+ in the process.

Abhishek Verma

 

 

 

 

 

 


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