NDA fails to get a foothold

Despite claiming itself as a 'grand alliance', the Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could not live up to the expectations in the central region.

Though the NDA candidates were placed third in all but one of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies spread over the central region, its performance was far below expectations in at least four seats. The only solace to NDA supporters is that the candidates of the alliance parties had finished ahead of Congress and Left candidates in six seats.

It was the BJP which launched the poll campaign in the central districts way ahead in September 2013, with the convening of the youth conference, addressed by none other than the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi himself. It was Modi’s first meeting after being nominated as Prime Ministerial candidate by the BJP.

The overwhelming response evoked by the conference created much confidence to the party cadre. Later the formation of the ‘rainbow alliance’ and the multi-cornered contest witnessed in all the constituencies further consolidated their hope of brining out an impressive show.

However, the alliance suffered a minor jolt when the Tiruchi constituency, where the BJP had a considerable vote base and which it had won twice in the past, was allotted to the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). The BJP was allotted Thanjavur constituency, where its support base was very negligible.

Sudha Manirathinem, the PMK candidate for Chidambaram-reserved constituency was the topper among the NDA candidates in the central region and she polled 2,79,016 votes to finish third behind the winning All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi nominees. T. R. Parivendar Pachamuthu of the India Jananayaga Katchi also brought out a good show in Perambalur seat by tallying 2,38,887 votes. The PMK’s K. Agoram who contested in Mayiladuthurai was another candidate who got more than one lakh votes in the NDA alliance. The DMDK contested in two seats Tiruchi and Karur, where its candidates brought out a mediocre performance. While the Tiruchi DMDK candidate A. M. G. Vijayakumar polled over 94,000 votes, N. S. Krishnan, its Karur candidate secured a little over 76,000 votes. Karuppu Muruganandam, the BJP candidate, though finishing third, could manage only 58,521 votes.

With the success of the BJP youth wing conference in Tiruchi city, the NDA partners heavily banked on the Modi wave.

The campaigning by the BJP president Rajnath Singh in Thanjavur and the whirlwind tour of DMDK leader Vijayakanth and his wife Premalatha raised the hopes of the NDA partners.

However, the outcome has only proved that these aspects could not enable the NDA to make inroads in the central region.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:19:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/nda-fails-to-get-a-foothold/article6032625.ece

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