June 03 2020
BJP hopes to improve its tally in Tamil Nadu
09 March 2019

Party leaders expect 2019 polls to be a turning point

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has not been able to become a major force in Tamil Nadu despite its attempts in the last 10 years, still views the State as one with enormous political potential in an election year.

Though it is going to contest only in five constituencies in the coming Lok Sabha elections, as part of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led front, its calculation is that if the present coalition succeeds, the State will contribute a considerable number of seats, if not substantial, to the overall tally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.


BJP hopes to improve its tally in Tamil Nadu
L. Ganesan

Discussions with a cross-section of the party’s leaders in the State reveal that the national leadership regards Tamil Nadu as a promising southern State only next to Karnataka, providing a large number of Members of Parliament. Barring 28 seats in Karnataka, the remaining four southern States account for 102 constituencies, of which 39 are in Tamil Nadu.

“It is in these four States that non-BJP Opposition is having an edge over us, if one were to go by the pattern of voting in previous elections. Even though we are making efforts to increase our footprint in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Kerala, we expect that this time, Tamil Nadu can provide more number of seats to the NDA than others,” says an office-bearer, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Popular support

L. Ganesan, who held posts such as national vice-president and president of the State unit of the party, says that organisationally, it is in Kerala that his party got the maximum strength. But, Tamil Nadu’s special feature is that “we are having popular support here disproportionate to our organisational strength,” he says, recalling how about 42,000 votes that he secured in the South Chennai Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 rose to about 2.5 lakh votes in the same seat five years later.

The 2019 polls will mark a “turning point” in the contemporary political history of Tamil Nadu as the people will be exercising their franchise for the first time in the post-Jayalalithaa, post-Karunanidhi era, K.S. Narendran, State general secretary, points out, contending that “this situation is conducive to us because the electors, especially youngsters, see Prime Minister Narendra Modi a decisive leader.”

If it is to come out of the present state of “stagnation” in the fields of industrial and educational development, Tamil Nadu has to support the BJP, T. Narayanan, spokesperson, adds.



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