BJP’s southern push: Party competes with regional forces, Congress - The Tribune India

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BJP’s southern push

Party competes with regional forces, Congress

BJP’s southern push

LOOKING to make major inroads into South India in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has sealed a seat-sharing pact with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Tamil Nadu. - File photo



LOOKING to make major inroads into South India in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has sealed a seat-sharing pact with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in Tamil Nadu. With this arrangement, the saffron party has attempted to make up for the loss of the AIADMK, which had walked out of the BJP-helmed NDA last year. The PMK, which mostly represents the Vanniyar community, was a constituent of the AIADMK-led alliance in the 2021 Assembly elections; it had won five seats and secured a vote share of 4 per cent. In the 2019 General Election, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led Secular Progressive Alliance had clinched 38 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Five years after that debacle, the challenge for the BJP-PMK combine will be to take on the rival coalition that includes the Congress and Left parties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated visits to Tamil Nadu and Kerala this year leave no room for doubt that the BJP is taking the southern battle very seriously and wants to win a significant proportion of the 130 seats in the region. On Tuesday, the PM held a roadshow in Palakkad (Kerala) and a rally in Salem (TN). The BJP is cognisant of the bitter fact that it is not in power in any southern state, having lost Karnataka to the Congress last year. A party with a dominant presence in other parts of the country, the BJP is keen to upstage regional parties and the Congress in the South.

Forging alliances is an electoral compulsion for the BJP in its desperate bid to bridge the so-called North-South divide. The party is also not averse to tie-ups elsewhere. On Monday, it finalised a seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar with the JD(U) and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). There is speculation that Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will jump on the NDA bandwagon after he held a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday. It seems that the BJP is open to having all kinds of allies on board in order to achieve its goal of 400 seats for the NDA.

#BJP #Congress #Lok Sabha #Tamil Nadu


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