Lok Sabha Elections / Congress-BJP weak in South, what is Modi-Rahul's plan on 131 seats?

Zoom News : Jun 28, 2023, 08:04 AM
Lok Sabha Elections: The form of opposition unity regarding the Lok Sabha elections has almost been decided. The opposition has chalked out a strategy in many states to corner BJP in North India, but what is the strategy of ruling and opposition parties for the total 131 Lok Sabha seats in five states and two union territories of South India?

Even though the magic of PM Modi may have raised the heads of the people in the north, it has still faded in the south. That is why the opposition has tried to form an opposition alliance to surround the BJP in North India, but the strategy regarding Mission-South is different. Apart from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, there are Puducherry and Lakshadweep in the south.

131 seat game in South India

There are a total of 131 Lok Sabha seats in South India, of which 28 are in Karnataka, 17 in Telangana, 25 in Andhra Pradesh, 39 in Tamil Nadu, 20 in Kerala, Puducherry and Lakshadweep have 1 seat each. Looking at the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP was successful in winning 30 parliamentary seats while the Congress got 27 seats and regional parties got 74 seats, mostly non-BJP parties.

If the opposition succeeds in winning a total of 131 Lok Sabha seats in South India and the BJP does not do better, then political upheaval can happen. Congress's effort is to wipe out BJP in South India, while BJP's effort is to open a new door through Hindutva.

Congress-BJP Junior Partner

In South India, both the Congress and the BJP are junior partners because of the dominance of most of the regional parties here. There is a DMK-Congress alliance in Tamil Nadu, in which DMK is in the role of elder brother. BJP is the junior partner of AIDMK in Tamil Nadu. BJP-TDP talks are going on in Andhra Pradesh, where BJP will play the role of younger brother. Apart from this, there is a direct contest between the Congress-led UDF and the Left-led LDF in Kerala.

Dominance of regional parties in the south

If we look at the post-independence history, in the initial phase, Congress had tremendous dominance in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, United Andhra Pradesh. However, with time, this hold of the Congress weakened. In Kerala, first the Communist parties ousted the Congress party from power, then in Tamil Nadu DMK and AIADMK removed the Congress from power. Similarly, regional parties like TDP, YSR Congress and BRS flourished in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Similarly JDS is a force in Karnataka.

At present, Kerala is dominated by the Left-led LDF coalition, Telangana is dominated by the BRS, Andhra Pradesh is dominated by the YSR Congress. In Karnataka, the Congress has recently formed the government on its own, while in Tamil Nadu it is involved in the government with the DMK. In 2019, regional parties won 74 seats, in which YSR won 25, DMK 20, BRS won 9 seats.

Modi's magic ineffective in the south

The BJP may have been successful in establishing its supremacy in North India, but Modi's magic has faded in the South. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP was successful in winning seats in Karnataka and Telangana while could not even open an account in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh. This is the reason why KCR has made a bet to awaken the southern pride by making his party the national name BRS. But he could not get the support of the southern parties only. In such a situation, BJP is weaving the fabric of alliance with new allies in the south, in which it is increasing its closeness with TDP in Andhra Pradesh and JDS in Karnataka.

Congress strategy

DMK and Left parties are with Congress in Tamil Nadu and will contest elections together in 2024. In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana, Congress can enter the electoral fray alone. After the formation of the Congress government in Karnataka, it has been engaged in the mission of 2024 and in Telangana, it is constantly trying to create a political environment by bringing BRS leaders into its fold. Similarly, in Kerala, the Congress wants to compete with the Left as before, because the influence of the BJP is not much.

The Congress is understanding this very well that its fight in the South is easier than in the North. Because of this, Rahul Gandhi started the Bharat Jodo Yatra from South India. Congress got political advantage in Karnataka, the credit of which the party gave to Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra. In view of this, the Congress has come out with a different strategy for South India, in which there is a direct war with the regional parties and somewhere with the support of the regional parties. In such a situation, it has to be seen that how successful is this bet?