Chennai, Dec 9 (IANS): The clean sweep of three important north Indian states by the BJP has not significantly impacted the prospects of the Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in South India, and in Tamil Nadu in particular, as it is the heart of Dravidian culture.
However, experts believe that the BJP’s victory in three out of five states will serve as a morale booster for the saffron party in Tamil Nadu, a state that elects 40 members for the Lok Sabha.
Even though the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) severed ties with the BJP, the saffron party might register a win in one of the constituencies, according to political analysts.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, though not able to match the stature of late CMs M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalitha, is slowly and steadily consolidating his position in the state's political scenario.
The DMK cadres are celebrating the fact that the BJP has been pushed out of South India and the Congress has achieved a victory in Telangana.
Kirthika Tharan, a political activist, and psychologist, explained to IANS that the results of three north Indian states were a little upsetting and were not expected. However, the BJP, as a Hindutva party, is wiped out from South India.
“We hope that the people of north India change their mindset. We want to learn the Hindi language, as Dravidians want to bring about awareness on our ideologies in North India,” she stated.
“The DMK will win 39 to 40 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The party can’t be challenged right now. They are strong in social service, and the people are getting a monthly allowance of Rs 2,000. The people are happy with the DMK,” she said.
The AIADMK is considered the ‘B team’ of the BJP, similar to how the BRS and former CM KC Rao were considered in Telangana. Even after ten years, the AIADMK’s Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and former CM is still looking weak opposite Stalin, maintained Kirthika Tharan.
After Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha though, politicians couldn’t take their place. CM Stalin is at least trying but EPS is falling short. In fact, it was not easy for EPS to rise against VK Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran too. He is in the forefront now but looks weak opposite CM Stalin, she added.
Undoubtedly, everyone knows CM Stalin, and there is no controversy surrounding him. Though there are controversies, he personally stands out, she said.
The BJP and the RSS are trying to build the party from the grassroots level in a planned manner. The BJP is investing heavily in the state, and party workers claim that they are paid on a monthly basis. Once the party workers join the BJP, they will be indoctrinated with Hindu ideology, she stated.
“We can’t ignore the BJP. All attempts are being made to build a party base in Tamil Nadu. They are all set to win a seat. They are trying to create situations like Manipur and Mangaluru in Tamil Nadu,” she opined.
The BJP might get 2 per cent to 5 per cent of those people’s votes who always vote for new parties, Kirthika Tharan stated.
Jayakumar Sundandhirapandiyan, a senior journalist, told IANS that the Dravidian parties are the most influential in Tamil Nadu.
“The Dravida movement itself says that ‘we are one’. They say that we are South Indians and never claim themselves as Tamils. After the Congress’ victory in Telangana, the political parties and people believe that the BJP can never have influence in the South. That confidence has grown huge, and it is the general mood here,” Jayakumar Sundandhirapandiyan said.
“People believe that the BJP can never enter South Indian states. In the forthcoming elections as well, the same trend will continue in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK is already out of its alliance with the BJP. This election brings good hope to party cadres as well. Earlier, they believed that the alliance with the BJP had not helped them win elections,” he stated.
“The DMK believes that the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls are for electing the central government and the AIADMK does not have a face to project in these elections. The DMK is in the INDIA bloc and because of that they can go to the people and tell them that they will work closely with national parties and form the government at the Centre and benefit the state,” Jayakumar explained.
The DMK believes that the AIADMK does not have anything to promise the people in the national elections, he added.
“The people of Tamil Nadu view the victory of the BJP as a win in state elections. In Tamil Nadu, no national party has ruled for a long time. So, the state elections are always seen to be fought on state issues. It is their belief that when it comes to national elections, the Congress will gain momentum. They have hope in the Congress alliance,” Jayakumar opined.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai and the party workers are telling people that the saffron party has won in three states out of five. They are claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image is growing in Tamil Nadu.
The BJP camp also maintains that in Karnataka the party can come back anytime and bag more seats in Telangana too.
Whether these claims come true or not for the BJP in South India, only time can tell.