Six southern states – How voters perception changed? Why southern regional parties want BJP?

Voters in these six states might have empowered these parties but all of the six parties are keen to get closer to the Union government

Voters in these six states might have empowered these parties but all of the six parties are keen to get closer to the Union government
Voters in these six states might have empowered these parties but all of the six parties are keen to get closer to the Union government

Southern regional parties take a U-Turn

In six southern states Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry, six different political parties are in government.

Each one of them has its ideological positioning from that of Congress and also BJP. In fact, most of the state parties be it the YSR Congress headed by Jagan Reddy or NR Congress of Puducherry headed by N Rangaswamy were splinter groups of AICC. But in Karnakata and Puducherry, the BJP is in power. M K Stalin in Tamil Nadu heading DMK, In Kerala P Vijayan CPM. In Telangana the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi, K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Political defeat of the four southern parties

If the approach of these parties is analyzed from political and administrative angles, all the four parties failed when they voted for Yashwant Sinha and Droupadi Murmu won as President of India. In the same breadth, Margret Alwa was defeated miserably and Jagdeep Dhakar won as Vice President of India. These two high office elections were a major political setback for southern regional parties.

Rahul Gandhi’s reluctance to take as Congress chief is a setback to southern parties

A much more shocking political interpretation is that these four parties of south India depended more on Rahul Gandhi. During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. DMK projected Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. But Narendra Modi won. Congress is also getting weekend organizational and losing their governments.

Security threat for the four southern states from Sri Lanka and China

All the four regional parties from South India are wanting protection from snooping of the Chinese spy ship Yuan Wang 5 docked in Sri Lanka. Especially Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh chief ministers either wrote to the Centre or met the Central leaders to protest against the Chinese electronic sweeping of the assets of Indian government like ISRO, Kudamkulam Kochi port, or nuclear submarine positions in the Bay of Bengal. If crisis in Sri Lanka the refugee problem spills over to militants like banned LTTE sympathizers who reach ports of Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu via boats.

Change in voters perception

Voters in these six states might have empowered these parties but all of the six parties are keen to get closer to the Union government so that their state’s economic packages and extra grants and special care on projects could be expedited.

Why the change of mindset of southern voters? Yogi factor?

But interestingly when Yogi Adityanath got re-elected as second-time Chief Minister the perception of the BJP in six southern states had dramatically undergone a 360-degree swift change. People power added to that the Modi-Yogi double engine effect in Hindi heartland is unassailable. A change of mood, therefore, is quietly taking place in the minds of southern voters too. Four parties DMK, YSR Congress, CPM, and TRS are vehemently opposing Narendra Modi and BJP. Before the UP elections, these parties were of the view that BJP and Modi will lose Uttar Pradesh and therefore logically the 2024 Lok Sabha poll verdict will favour opposition parties like UPA. The principal catch in these parties are not so favourable towards Hindus, but with anti-Hindi imposition and separate state like Tamil Nadu saying Dravida Nadu, anti-upper caste feelings, social justice and what not. But the entire controversy got evaporated with one victory of Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, washing out the negative feelings. Since voters are below 35 years and are attracted towards the digital transformation of India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the best handling of the Corona crisis, no corruption charges in eight years of Modi rule are such factors that provoked the thinking of youth.

Southern regional parties want to wait for the 2023 poll results

Regional parties are waiting for a year more to cross 2023. Till such time the southern chief ministers want to be on the right side of Narendra Modi. Especially to get financial packages. That is the main reason why M K Stalin is not making a big U-turn. Same M K Stalin DMK which showed black flags to Modi and put black balloons in the air created anti-north Indian sentiments like pani poor sellers only speak Hindi and their presence is a law and order threat. But after UP’s victory, the entire narrative is changed. M K Stalin invited Prime Minister to visit Tamil Nadu to open an International Chess Tournament TRS leader Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrasekhar Rao waited for four days in New Delhi to get a meeting scheduled with Prime Minister but returned back empty-handed. He was not been able to meet Modi. Almost all the six regional parties are now slowdown the abusive language against Prime Minister.

How DMK change its track?

Chief Minister M K Stalin said his party, the DMK, would never compromise on its core ideology.

“The DMK will never strike a compromise with the BJP and the RSS ever, even for the smallest thing,” said the CM while participating in the 60th birthday celebration of VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan in Chennai. Referring to his Delhi visit to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Stalin said as Chief Minister, he was going to Delhi to get development schemes and projects from the Union government and he was doing so as the CM of the state. “So, there is only a relationship between the state government and the Union government. And there is no relationship between the DMK and the BJP and their ideologies,” said Stalin.

“DMK is strong in its ideology. We will not compromise with BJP and RSS. I am not going to Delhi to fold my hands and to sit and hear what they say. I am Kalaingar’s (former DMK president M Karunanidhi) son. I am going to Delhi to get schemes for the people of my state,” said Stalin as if to clear the doubts, if any, of his allies and supporters. “I will assure you that the Dravidian model slogan would reverberate. We will not give up the Dravidian ideology ever and the Dravidian model slogan will reverberate,” he said. Stating that the “relationship” between VCK and DMK was beyond electoral politics, Stalin said none can draw a wedge between them.

For the second time this month, YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy two occasions met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Why YSR Congress is keen to denounce Chandrababu Naidu?

According to highly placed sources in the Jagan Reddy camp, an appointment was sought with the Prime Minister for a detailed discussion on issues relating to N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam.

There was a talk that the Chief Minister would seek a one-on-one meeting with Modi on August 7 itself, after the meeting of the NITI Aayog general council, but the PM was extremely busy due to various developments including the swearing-in of the new Vice President of India and the conclusion of the Winter Session of Parliament.

Apparently, Jagan asked for an appointment with Modi then itself and the PMO communicated to him that he could come on August 17.

The meeting assumes significance in the wake of reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party has started showing some inclination towards the Telugu Desam Party and it was evident at the recent crisp meeting of Modi with TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu in Delhi.

Sources said the meeting of Jagan with Modi would be at least for an hour, as they would be discussing many issues – right from political, to personal, to the issues concerning Andhra Pradesh.

While the Centre has been liberal in granting funds to the state, there are many tricky issues to be resolved, particularly Polavaram Dam construction and rehabilitation issues, which have become a major headache for the state.

Besides, the Chief Minister also may seek the Centre’s support to the state on the three capitals issue, in the wake of reports that the state might move to the Supreme Court challenging the March 3 high court judgment on Amaravati.

Since the present Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, who Jagan thinks is the main hurdle for the three capitals issue, will be retiring in another two weeks, the state government is planning to file the SLP in the Supreme Court.

If the Centre can cooperate with the state government, Jagan can get a stay on the HC order. This may be one of the issues Jagan might discuss with Modi.

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2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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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