The Karnataka bypoll results and the lack of strong alliance partners in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh indicate that the BJP faces a big challenge down south in next year’s Lok Sabha elections, opine political commentators and parties.
“The national party will try to win a reasonable number of seats in southern states, where it is weak, and then reach out to the regional parties,” he said.
Sharing Sumanth’s opinion, AMMK organising secretary Sukumar Babu said: “The BJP and its allies won a total of 23 seats in the five southern states in 2014. But this time crossing a dozen will be difficult for the national party.”
Citing the example of Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, who quit the BJP-led NDA recently, he said no party wants to join with the saffron party.
“Except the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, no other party in south India is inching closer towards the BJP. This time it will be a rout for them in TN,” the AMMK leader added.
BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu, however, are positive about post poll alliances and claim that Narendra Modi will govern for another five years.
Stating that the Karnataka bypoll results are not a setback for the party, BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathi said: “Our vote share in Mandya has increased and we have comfortably won the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat. In Karnataka, we are still the strongest party.”
“In Kerala, the BJP has increased its vote share from 2 to 13 per cent. In the case of Andhra, Naidu suffers anti-incumbency and it will be the BJP harvesting these votes. In TN, there will be a change in voting pattern due to the demise of Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi and this again will benefit us,” he added.