Lok Sabha Election

A resounding ‘no’ to the BJP-led coalition in Tamil Nadu

Rising sun: DMK members celebrating the party’s victory at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai.

Rising sun: DMK members celebrating the party’s victory at Anna Arivalayam in Chennai.

Narendra Modi has been chosen by the BJP-led NDA for a second term as Prime Minister. However, his party has once again failed in Tamil Nadu.

AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa had stolen his thunder ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with her slogan ‘Lady or Modi’, urging people in T.N. to pick the 'lady' (referring to herself). She went on to win 37 seats. Of the two remaining seats, the BJP, leading a third front, managed one, and its ally, the PMK, took the other.

Also read: Two arch rivals garner over 50% of the votes

In 2019, the humiliation is greater. The BJP has drawn a blank. Its ally, the ruling AIADMK, has managed to win just one seat of the 38 Lok Sabha seats.

After Jayalalithaa’s death, Mr. Modi facilitated a merger of feuding factions of the AIADMK, to be led jointly by Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam. The duo then proceeded to stitch together a mega alliance, roping in the PMK and DMDK into the fold.


Yet the NDA suffered a staggering defeat in T.N., with voters viewing it as an opportunistic alliance. The victory margins of the DMK and its allies — Congress, CPI, CPI(M) and IUML - have been unprecedented. BJP leaders have sought refuge in excuses, even claiming that the opposition managed to successfully paint a negative image of the BJP.

What they did not account for was the deep-seated anger among people of the State, who believe they were denied their rights on many occasions. Events such as the 100-day anti-Sterlite protest that led to police shooting down people, protests for Cauvery Management Board, the Mekedatu dam issue and the Central and State governments' poor response to cyclones that ravaged the State showed that the voters were upset.

At the end of the day, it was clear that Dravidianism has managed to hold its own.

Also read: Victory margins in reserved seats higher

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 12:00:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/a-resounding-no-to-the-bjp-led-coalition/article27250410.ece