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BJP moves to breach the Southern Wall

by | Jul 10, 2022 | India

The BJP has turned its electoral juggernaut to firmly establish its presence south of the Vindhya as 2024 approaches.

New Delhi:  After conquering Northeast, the BJP has turned its gaze on expanding footprints in a region where the saffron party has been traditionally weak: The five Southern states which together account for 130 Lok Sabha seats. In the last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won just 29 of the 130 Lok Sabha seats of the South. Of these, the party had won 25 seats in Karnataka. Of the total of 923 assembly constituencies in South India, the BJP currently has just 135 legislators. Of these, 122 are from Karnataka alone.
Aiming to replicate the Karnataka model in adjoining states in the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has launched an aggressive campaign in election-bound Telangana and the rest of South India.

It is not without reason that in Tamil Nadu, they have posted an aggressive former IPS officer and articulate K Annamalai to run the show. The state’s principal Opposition party – the AIADMK – has been imploding amidst severe infighting. The BJP’s presence has apparently been making the DMK a tad nervous too. In short: The BJP has been trying to find space even in a state that continues to be driven by Dravidian politics. In Telangana, the sitting Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao is feeling the BJP heat too. KCR has already launched a personal and aggressive campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When the Prime Minister arrived in Hyderabad for the recent meeting of the party national executive, the chief minister was conspicuous by his absence at the airport to receive him.
As part of its Southern outreach, the BJP recently nominated big names from the region, including film musician Illayaraja, sports icon PT Usha, KV Vijayendra  Prasad and Veerendra Hegde for the Rajya Sabha. Kishan Reddy – formerly of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha – is already a union minister. In Kerala, the saffron party has apparently been creating fissures in the Christian-Muslim electoral base. A BJP conclave of the party’s christian leaders from the Northeast and Goa is being scheduled in Kerala later this year.

Srinanda Jha
Srinand Jha
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Journalist by accident, rail, travel and political buff by choice - dissenter by compulsion. Interested in policy and governance.