BJP Mission South: Today the glory of BJP is rising in the country. There is a BJP government from Uttar Pradesh to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Lotus has also blossomed in the Northeast. In the states of North India where it is not in power, it is the main opposition party. Same is the case in West Bengal. But still BJP’s victory chariot is stopping again and again in the south. This is the reason that this time under the leadership of PM Modi, BJP is making all the equations for South victory.
In the 6 states of South India, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, at present only Karnataka has BJP government on its own. In Puducherry too, the BJP is in power with an alliance.
Why the South is important for the BJP
There are 130 Lok Sabha seats in these states of South India, out of which only 29 seats are with BJP. Of this, 25 are from Karnataka alone. Whereas in 2019 four seats were won in Telangana. It can be understood from this that how is the condition of BJP in other states. There is also another reason for taking the South prominently. In the last two Lok Sabha elections, BJP has got bumper seats in major states of North India. In such a situation, BJP is taking care that if the seats are less here, it can be compensated from the south.
Plan South will be tested in Karnataka
BJP’s South Plan is going to be tested in Karnataka assembly elections next month. The challenge for the BJP is to retain its only stronghold in the south, and at the same time the results here will have an impact on other states as well, where elections are to be held this year. If BJP loses Karnataka, then it will be very difficult for BJP to come to power in Telangana elections to be held at the end of the year. BJP is pinning big hopes this time in Telangana.
Challenges of BJP in South India
It is difficult for the BJP, which is engaged in strengthening the ground in the south, that the base of the BJP is very weak in states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. BJP does not have a single Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. At the same time, the party does not even have a single MLA in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got just 1 per cent votes in Andhra Pradesh.
Hindi party tag
Like Andhra Pradesh, the challenge in front of BJP is big in Tamil Nadu too. The image of the BJP is that of a Hinduist party and Tamil Nadu has been the land of the Dravidian movement. Along with this, the tag of Hindi party makes it more difficult for BJP. Keeping in mind the BJP’s call, in recent times the DMK has once again started raising the issue of Hindi.
In Tamil Nadu, the Hindi party is trying to bring politics around the temples in comparison to the Dravidian movement. The BJP is raising questions about who should occupy the temples. Organizations like VHP with similar ideology with BJP are ahead in this. Another plus factor with BJP is that it is in good relations with AIADMK and by entering into an alliance, the party can increase its base.
Kerala is not making a dent
BJP is trying hard in another important state of South Kerala but it is not getting success. BJP does not have any MLA here. This is when its parent organization RSS claims to have more than 4500 shakhas here. In Kerala too, the tag of being a Hinduist party is becoming difficult for the BJP. An effective population in the state belongs to the Christian community and BJP is eyeing this. With the recent induction of Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil Antony into the party, the BJP hopes to win over the community.
No Big Leader
Except Karnataka and Telangana, the BJP does not have any tall leader in the southern states. BJP needs a charismatic leader like Yeddyurappa to form government in other states like in Karnataka.
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