BJP banks on ‘vacuum’ to grow in TN

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on March 26, 2019

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the dominant partner in every State it has opted for alliance, it is not the case in Tamil Nadu. Here, it is at best, a junior partner trying to get a toe-hold in a state that has been a Dravidian bastion for decades.

It was happy to be allotted just five seats (another regional party PMK got seven) in the alliance led by AIADMK. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections that was powered by a Modi wave, all it managed was a solitary seat in Tamil Nadu. It contested in nine constituencies and its vote share was just 5.5. per cent.

Better performance

This time the party expects a much better performance as it hopes to capitalise on the vacuum in the political leadership in the State which, for the first time in several decades, is going to polls without the presence of a charismatic leader.

Apart from that, the various welfare measures that the central government has announced that benefitted Tamil Nadu in a big way should favour the BJP.

“In the past several decades, the entire political scene in Tamil Nadu was based on pro or anti-Dravidian leaders. There were five prominent leaders in Tamil Nadu - K Kamaraj, C N Annadurai, M Karunanidhi, M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. People were voting for and against these leaders. Now, there is a very big vacuum for leadership. Hence we feel the pattern of voting will definitely change this time. People don’t have a choice in leadership on which there were voting earlier,” said Thirupathy Narayanan, State Executive Member & State Head, Media Relations, BJP.

It hopes to garner more seats and share than 2014 when it had won just one seat. Of course, its previous best tally was when it won four seats in 1999 when it was part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) alliance.

Infrastructure support

He said Tamil Nadu people will vote for parties based on their principles and performance and claimed that the BJP has supported the infrastructure development of the State in the past five years. “We hope the corruption-free record and Centre’s several schemes that brought a lot of benefits to common man and poor will be acknowledged. Tamil Nadu benefitted a lot in many schemes of the Centre,” he added.

Narayanan also said that corruption has been big a problem in the country including Tamil Nadu. BJP government at the centre has taken a lot of measures to curb corruption. The party, he said, would highlight the Modi government’s clean image and tell people of Tamil Nadu that it is time a similar transformation is brought about in the State.

Published on March 25, 2019

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