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BJP’s strong showing in Uttar Pradesh makes southern regional parties a trifle nervous

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The BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh boosts its cadre to tackle regional chieftains, however it nonetheless is a lengthy highway forward in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It’s, nonetheless, a totally different story in Karnataka

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly election outcomes have set the alarm bells ringing in South India, the place regional chieftains have to date held the highly effective BJP at bay.

Barring in Karnataka, the regional chieftains of various political formations have blocked the entry of the BJP, although the ruling social gathering on the Centre has been making concerted efforts to overcome South India. Limited success, although, for the BJP got here when it dethroned the Congress from its bastion of Puducherry in the 2021 elections.

But final week’s historic, morale-boosting BJP victories in Uttar Pradesh, and three different states of Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, have made the regional chieftains of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala a trifle anxious over attainable renewed BJP forays into their respective fiefdoms.

One of essentially the most susceptible among the many southern chieftains seems to be Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president Okay Chandrashekhara Rao, who has gone into self-imposed isolation since election outcomes got here final Thursday.

BJPs strong showing in Uttar Pradesh makes southern regional parties a trifle nervous

File picture of Telangana chief minister Okay Chandrashekar Rao. PTI

It could also be recalled that earlier than the Assembly elections, Rao was additionally scurrying right here and there, assembly Opposition leaders to kind the non-BJP political entrance to tackle Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 common elections to the Lok Sabha.

Already in Telangana, the BJP is snapping at his heels, so to talk, with an aggressive marketing campaign in the native physique elections and is stepping up its efforts to broaden in the state.

“For sure, the BJP will up its ante in Telangana and make a very serious attempt to capture more constituencies. The BJP leaders and cadre are in an upbeat mood and sense a chance now with a weakened Congress and disappearance of the Telugu Desam Party in Telangana,” opined professor Harathi Vageesan of NALSAR University of Law, as KCR prepares to go to the individuals for a third consecutive time period in subsequent 12 months’s Assembly elections.

Given the flexibility of the BJP to use the dissatisfaction of sections of society that didn’t profit from the ten years of TRS rule, contemporary from a victory in UP and three different states, the BJP will make deeper forays into the state. But, can it make good points in phrases of seats, remains to be a large query.

There are probabilities that KCR might ultimately enter into a “state for me and Centre for you” form of an association with the Central authorities, particularly in the wake of UP outcomes. But then there are different analysts who don’t see any affect of the UP outcomes on Telangana, like Punjab ignored the BJP. Similarly, the BJP might not fully be capable to convert its enthusiasm into concrete political good points in phrases of seats however certainly it could possibly hope to enhance its penetration in society.

“Even though perceived as an upper caste, pro-market party, the BJP has been able to successfully build a social coalition down the line that benefitted it in Uttar Pradesh, and will elsewhere as well,” Vageesan mentioned. A weakened Congress means a substantial chunk of the Dalit vote might shift to the BJP, ultimately, he mentioned and added, “TDP has totally vanished here.” For positive, KCR and the remainder of the regional chieftains will likely be finding out carefully how the BJP gained Uttar Pradesh and if they might be taught a factor or two from there.

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is sitting fairly with the full absence of Congress and weakening of the TDP, whose chief N Chandrababu Naidu is unable to work the identical magic and is wanting haggard and drained. “The TDP cannot be still written off completely and Jagan will no longer have a cakewalk,” Vageesan mentioned, including: “But in Andhra, BJP is not so potent as to make any challenge politically, yet.”

BJPs strong showing in Uttar Pradesh makes southern regional parties a trifle nervous

File picture of Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy. Reuters

Tamil Nadu nonetheless occurs to be the rock-solid fort that the BJP finds troublesome to penetrate, although it gained a foothold in the Assembly elections final 12 months by successful 4 MLA seats and the state of Puducherry, typically thought of a colony of Tamil Nadu.

When it involves the southern states, they gained’t forfeit their floor, both to the Congress or the BJP who might rule the Centre, mentioned professor Ramu Manivannan of the Madras University. “How does it matter if the Congress or the BJP rules the Centre, the regional parties in these states would not form an alliance just because the BJP is going to return to power at the Centre, and will try to hold on to their vote-banks,” he mentioned.

In Tamil Nadu, the DMK is now strongly entrenched, however there would be the function of the Opposition and the AIADMK to not permit the DMK to go scot-free. “But the AIADMK does not have a voice to speak for itself, how can it speak for the BJP now,” questioned Manivannan on whether or not the combo can acquire sufficient political weight to make a important dent in DMK fortunes, both in Lok Sabha elections or Assembly elections 5 years away.

True that the BJP has stored a stranglehold over the totally different factions in the AIADMK and its native management goes hammer and tongs on the DMK making an attempt to occupy the Opposition area. “The BJP’s control over the AIADMK is very artificial, as they cannot penetrate the cadre and tell them to listen. And that’s what ultimately matters. AIADMK loyalists and cadre do not see the BJP in that fashion. I won’t be surprised if they go and vote for the Congress or some other party. I feel like BJP’s breaking the back of AIADMK is to give a certain kind of standing as an emerging voice in Tamil Nadu politics,” professor Manivannan felt.

“No doubt, BJP is doing solid hard work, but overcoming Dravidian identity politics is another thing. To regroup Tamil Nadu politics, it does not take anything beyond the language and the cultural identity. This is always antithetical to what the BJP stands for. Thez BJP emerging as Opposition even in 2026, I will be surprised,” Manivannan mentioned.

Kerala is one other state that will likely be a two-horse race between the CPM and the Congress, however BJP will proceed to chip away. Its stake will definitely develop, however for it to really problem the Left it’s going to take a few extra years, he predicted.

In your entire south, which sends 130 MPs to the Lok Sabha, the BJP is well-placed in Karnataka and its victory in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur will certainly increase its probabilities in the Assembly elections due subsequent 12 months.

Political analyst BS Jayaramu in Bangalore mentioned, “Whatever happens in the North, it will not bring about any substantial change in favour of the BJP in the South.” DMK could be very strong in Tamil Nadu and can proceed to be so even for the 2024 elections and Assembly elections are 4 years away. In Andhra, Jagan is a difficult buyer and even individuals there might not vote for BJP. Kerala continues to be a no-go space for the BJP. And in any case, this euphoria can even die down in a few months. But sure, in Karnataka, the UP victory will assist the BJP.

The author is a political analyst based mostly in Chennai. Views expressed are private.

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