January 14, 2019
Chennai : For the BJP, which is likely to face tough time in the Hindi belt in the forthcoming general elections after its loss in three states recently and the tie up of SP and BSP in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu gets more important as it has 39 seats on offer.
The BJP has been trying for the past few years to make inroads into the state, but in the two horse race state of Tamil Nadu with its two dominant Dravidian players, national parties have had to play a supporting role only.
The Congress, which ruled the country for nearly five decades but could not enter the state after it was ejected in 1967. The BJP’s electoral results too were not very flattering in the state assembly and even the few Lok Sabha seats it won was when it tied up with AIADMK. Only during 2014 elections, the BJP managed to win one seat and that too thanks to the strong Congress candidate, or else even that seat would have gone to the AIADMK under Amma.
With Amma, who had rejected any truck with BJP when she was alive, no longer there, the BJP has managed to get the local AIADMK leaders into a positive frame about alliance for the general elections this time.
However, it is easier said than done, fighting the perception that it was a north Indian party as also was criticised for running the AIADMK government by proxy. Moreover, on several issues, the people perceive the BJP to be anti-Tamil Nadu, whether it was NEET or Cauvery or even Hindi language.
Although not many leaders come out publicly with their fears, but association with the BJP is something that they dread as an electoral prospect. The DMK, which has anyway raised the pitch describing the AIADMK as the B team of the BJP, has done enough damage.
Moreover, the double anti-incumbency the alliance would be fighting, is something that makes the challenge even greater.
The AIADMK had won 37 out of the total 39 seats on offer.
The BJP has managed to convince the PMK and DMDK of Captain Vijaykanth to come on board of the broad alliance it was trying to form, along with AIADMK. The BJP and the AIADMK are to fight equal number of seats in Tamil Nadu, as per the broad contours of the alliance being worked out at the top level.