Ground Report: BJP expected to get a boost in DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu

With the first phase of elections, polling in India started on Friday, April 19, initiating the process of national elections. Many of the states, including Tamil Nadu, saw the massive participation of voters. The South India state voters participated from all 39 constituencies, which has been primarily dominated by regional players for decades.

| Updated: 21 April, 2024 6:30 pm IST
The New Indian's Executive Editor talks to locals of Madurai on the first day of polling

MADURAI: With the first phase of elections, polling in India started on Friday, April 19, initiating the process of national elections. Many of the states, including Tamil Nadu, saw the massive participation of voters. The South India state voters participated from all 39 constituencies, which has been primarily dominated by regional players for decades.

The New Indian team in the first phase reached Tamil Nadu and travelled across Madurai, Chennai, Sivaganga and Trichy. Thanga Pandi, a coolie in Madurai, shared his views by saying, “The BJP has done a good job; they will win the Lok Sabha election, but in Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin will continue to serve.”

Tamil Nadu being one of the crucial states for the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has not been able to gain the base support in the state since 1980, whereas Congress lagged behind even more. But the strong Modi wind has definitely affected the south with its influence.

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Sharing similar views, N. Prakash, a local resident, shows confidence in Modi as Prime Minister; the other resident calls him way ahead of MK Stalin and Rahul Gandhi.
With the efforts of making inroads in the South, the BJP, unlike DMK and AIADMK, faces cultural and language barriers by imposing a fear of Hindi in the South. The early voters, Muthu Kumar and Ramesh Pandi, also believe in Modi becoming the Prime Minister.

Ramesh Pandi, a college professor who, with his wife Renuka Devi, went to cast their votes in the early hours of the voting day, thinks Modi is better than MK Stalin, Mamta Banerjee, and Rahul Gandhi in the race for the next PM of India. He said, “Except the southern states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, all have more popularity for Modi, and he is the best prime minister to serve the post for the third term.”

While the ground report mirrors the BJP, it seems to be getting a boost in its presence with the popularity of Modi as the face of the party.
Rooted in Tamil language and culture, the two regional parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), have gained a strong support base in Tamil Nadu over the years.

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While the major national parties of the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), play a second role in the state, At present, the DMK is the ruling party in the state, having won over the incumbent AIADMK in the 2021 elections.

In the Lok Sabha Elections, the famous leaders who have stood in electoral fights from Tamil Nadu is state BJP president K Annamalai who is contesting from Coimbatore against AIADMK’s Singai Ramachandran and DMK leader Ganapathy P Rajkumar. This time, Tamil Nadu recorded a voter turnout of 69.72% while Madurai stood with 61.95% voting.

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