Politics of South: BJP still lags behind

Three top leaders of the BJP Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Dr. S Jaishankar played a role in putting the six southern states on the national map

Three top leaders of the BJP Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Dr. S Jaishankar played a role in putting the six southern states on the national map
Three top leaders of the BJP Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Dr. S Jaishankar played a role in putting the six southern states on the national map

Will BJP make its roadmap in Southern states for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections?

North-South deep divide persists in the Southern states, especially in Tamil Nadu. Why so? Does this not affect polity? Karnataka Assembly elections will reveal the future approach of national mainstream politics. That will also be an eye opener of how South India embraces the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or go for regionalism.

Castes dominate South politics

Eight major castes in South India dominate six states’ politics. The Vokkaliga, Lingayat, Reddy, Kamma, Gowda, Thevar, Nadar and Ezhavas. Before you understand South politics please enlighten yourself with these castes dominations on society. Social engineering worked in the North But a major obstacle for Amit Shah type of Chanakayaa politics in the south. Oscar-winning cine song Nattu Naatu is also a social fabric. Certainly, it unites regions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also very generously got a Telugu scholar nominated to Rajya Sabha. 35-40 percent of Padma awards go to the South. PM Modi’s pet theme of “Mann ki Baat” in its 100 episodes covered South Indian states 65 times. What does this reflect? North is eager to embrace the South, but will South Indians accept the gestures?

Narendra Modi’s strategy to win North Eastern states like Tripura and Meghalaya worked effectively.

Six states of southern India are peculiar. ‘Modi Magic’ is witnessed only in Karnataka and Puducherry, but not in the states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Was the Tamil Sangamam in Varanasi and in Saurashtra organized to break the league?

Bihar-Jharkhand migrants issue

The Bihar migrants’ issue is too hot and sensitive to debate. One spark will destabilize the unity fabric. In early March, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was ‘behind the scene,’ in the effective handling of the Bihar-Jharkhand migrants’ issue between DMK Chief Minister M K Stalin and Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar. These three major dots are coordinated with able ‘babudom’.

Conversions from Hinduism

Similarly, the conversion from Hinduism to Christianity and Islam is too sensitive which is quietly happening in some parts of South India. This was flagged by R N Ravi the Governor of Tamil Nadu in a report to Union Home Ministry. The third and most dangerous development in the Southern states especially, in Tamil Nadu and Kerala is the activities of PFI and SDPI. The repeated raids by National Investigating Agency in at least 45 places in both states, effectively put a break into the outreach of Popular Front of India policies.

Amit Shah trying his social engineering in South India

Let us briefly ponder over massive religious conversions in Andhra Pradesh too. But, politically the YSRCP leader Jagan Reddy is too close to BJP’s top leadership. The main opposition in Andhra Pradesh is Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Its leader Nara Chandrababu Naidu is desperate in returning to National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and hails Narendra Modi.

Congress is nowhere in Andhra Pradesh and in Telangana. Congress dug its grave by bifurcating Telugu-speaking states into Telangana.

Liquor unites AAP leader Manish Sisodia and Kavitha

Turning to K Chandrasekhar Rao, the state of Telangana is also in flux. The liquor lobby of southern states spoiled the image of Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) now BRS. The unique combo of TRS with the Aam Aadhmi Party (AAP) is much more dangerous. The emergence of the ‘Sisodia-Kavitha’ duo in Delhi Telangana hotline politics spoiled the political future of both politicians. Kavitha is too smart as a woman politician. But kins of South Indian political leaders have spoiled the image of their father and party. K Chandrasekhar Rao is a glaring example. Any amount of outreach of BJP or PM Modi for another decade will not yield desired political fruits. The iron is still not hot to strike.

Three top leader’s image

Three top leaders of the BJP Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Dr. S Jaishankar played a role in putting BJP’s roadmap in the six southern states. But they are too slippery. There is a huge amount of funds in the format of Union Budgetary allocations, GST council involvement in the infrastructure of defence corridor, and privatization of satellite launches, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Major start-ups are in southern states. Without political games, you cannot win the hearts of south Indians. You may speculate that the voters of southern states, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala look for monetary benefits during polls. The ruling and opposition parties give each voter 25000 to 30000 rupees.

Elections are not that democratic in the South.

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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R Rajagopalan is a veteran journalist. He reported Parliament proceedings for Dinamani and Vaartha. Since 1980. A well known face in English TV debates. He Widely traveled with Presidents and Prime Ministers.
R Rajagopalan


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