The Hindu CSDS-Lokniti Post-Poll Survey 2021

T.N. Assembly polls | BJP: a liability rather than asset

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K . Palaniswami. File   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Apart from the fatigue of two terms and the public’s general dissatisfaction with the State government on various counts, one of the major reasons for the AIADMK alliance’s disastrous performance seems to have been the presence of the BJP in the alliance. The BJP, it seems, ended up being far more of an electoral liability for the AIADMK+ than an asset, and dragged their seat tally down. Not only does the election result bear this out, given that the AIADMK-led alliance did far worse in the BJP-contested seats than seats contested by its other constituents, the evidence from our post-poll survey also confirms this.

A negative sentiment

According to the Lokniti-CSDS post-poll survey, twice as many voters in the State held a negative sentiment about the BJP than a positive one. On being asked whether the BJP’s rise will be detrimental or good for the State’s social fabric, four of every 10 said it would be bad and less than two of every 10 said it would be good for the State. Four of every 10 felt it would not make a difference or refused to take a stand on the issue (Table 1). Significantly, not only was this apprehension about the BJP seen among the DMK alliance’s voters, close to half of whom described the BJP’s growth in Tamil Nadu as being bad; a plurality of AIADMK+’s voters also held a more negative than positive sentiment about the BJP. Voters of most other parties and fronts (barring MNM+) held a similar opinion although their degree of opposition to the BJP varied.

image/svg+xml
 

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021

The anti-BJP sentiment was also found to be quite widespread across all regions of Tamil Nadu with respondents in the Cauvery delta region expressing the strongest apprehensions about the BJP. The only region where the sentiment against the BJP was less intense was the western region – here, many showed high ambivalence on being asked the question and did not take a strong stand either way (Table 2). This is also the region where the AIADMK alliance ended up doing much better.

Socio-demographics

image/svg+xml
 

The strongest apprehension about the BJP’s rise was seen among Christians, followed by Dalits, Thevars and the upper castes. Muslims, however, were found to be quite indifferent (Table 2). A stark difference in opinion was also noticed when one disaggregated the responses by Tamil and non-Tamil speaking voters – the former were 10 points more likely to view the BJP as being bad for the State’s social fabric than the latter. While it is difficult to make an exact estimate as to how much damage the partnership with the BJP did to the AIADMK+ alliance’s prospects, the post-poll survey indicates that about three of every 10 of the AIADMK alliance’s traditional supporters viewed the BJP as being bad for the State and when one looks at their vote preferences, over a quarter of them ended up voting for the DMK alliance instead of remaining as supporters of the AIADMK alliance.

The AIADMK was banking on the BJP’s strength as the dominant party at the Centre and hoping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal would extend to Tamil Nadu. However, the party seems to have badly miscalculated on this count.

Shreyas Sardesai is a Research Associate at Lokniti-CSDS, Delhi


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 5:30:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/tn-assembly-polls-bjp-a-liability-rather-than-asset/article34483441.ece

In This Package
Assam Assembly Elections | Hindu consolidation pays off for BJP
Assam Assembly Elections | Mahajot fails to net tribal votes
Assam Assembly Elections | Beyond community vote, urban, middle class voters back NDA
Assam Assembly Elections | Sonowal scores higher than Sarma, despite the latter making steady gains
Huge win: BJP supporters celebrating at the party's State head office in Guwahati on May 2, 2021.
Assam Assembly elections | Welfare measures not a decisive factor
Assam Assembly elections | CAA, NRC evoke mixed sentiments
Kerala Assembly Elections | How the Left Front bucked a decades-old trend in Kerala
Kerala Assembly Elections | Votes for tackling the coronavirus
Kerala Assembly Elections | Social demographics shaped the elections
Kerala Assembly Elections | Not ready for a third force
Kerala Assembly Elections | Sabarimala did not become an electoral issue
Kerala Assembly Elections | A shift in social basis of voting
West Bengal Assembly Elections | The limits to polarisation in Bengal
West Bengal Assembly Elections | Development mattered most, not corruption
West Bengal Assembly Elections | Women rally behind Trinamool
West Bengal Assembly Elections | Subaltern Hindutva on the wane?
West Bengal Assembly Elections | BJP failed to attract Congress, Left supporters
West Bengal Assembly Elections | Longest elections did not help BJP
What post-poll numbers tell us about the elections, and how our politics is evolving | The Hindu In Focus Podcast
Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | The caste calculus in DMK’s win
Tamil Nadu Assembly elections | A silent yearning for an alternative force?
Tamil Nadu Assembly elections | The impact of social factors
Local factors determine electoral outcomes in States
Local issues crucial to voters across States: survey
Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | The land of the rising sun
You are reading
T.N. Assembly polls | BJP: a liability rather than asset
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. File
TN Assembly polls | Did last-minute sops help the AIADMK?
Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | Leadership play a key role
Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | Methodology of post-poll survey
Next Story