Five Key Takeaways From Southern India Results

Sharan Setty

Jun 05, 2024, 01:00 PM | Updated Jun 06, 2024, 08:46 PM IST

Barring Tamil Nadu, the BJP has outperformed itself in most southern states.
Barring Tamil Nadu, the BJP has outperformed itself in most southern states.

Every state in south India had a new story to tell once the counting of the votes for parliamentary elections was over. Here are five key takeaways of the results from the south.

One, Andhra Pradesh is back in national limelight as the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nara Chandrababu Naidu swept the assembly and parliamentary elections in the state. Naidu, who holds the key to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government being stable, may demand a special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Moreover, some key ministries could go to the TDP. Although Naidu has reaffirmed his loyalty to the NDA and the BJP, he has been flippant in the past when things did not go his way.

Same goes the for JD(S). If not for the alliance with Deve Gowda's party, the NDA would most likely not have limited the Congress to below 10 seats in Karnataka.

Two, states like Kerala, Telangana and Andhra go from being 'potential growth areas' to 'field of work' for the BJP. Kerala, for the first time, elected a BJP MP in Suresh Gopi. The party also crossed the 20 per cent vote share mark in five other seats besides Gopi's.

In the past, the BJP has tried its hand to make inroads into Kerala, but it has not been successful. With Gopi's win and other candidates like Anil Anthony and K Surendran making their mark, Kerala will have legitimate expectations from the BJP to take the next steps in its journey in the state.

Three, this was not a wave election in southern India, either way. There was no pro- or anti-Modi wave in the south. Each state voted as a separate unit.

While Telangana has seen the decimation of a state-based party like the BRS, Andhra has seen the comeback of TDP and Tamil Nadu has seen the continued dominance of the DMK and its allies.

In Karnataka, while the Congress was hoping to continue with the momentum of its May 2023 victory, a strategic alliance of BJP-JD(S) stopped them in its tracks.

Kerala has seen the growth of BJP but little change in the overall results from 2019.

Four, specifically in the context of Tamil Nadu, the BJP has a choice to make.

The decision to go into the elections without the AIADMK has led to the party getting an 11 per cent voteshare on its own, organisational growth in many areas but no seats to show for it.

How the party wants to approach the assembly elections in 2026 is for both the BJP and the AIADMK to decide.

Five, the results from south India have debunked the 'north vs south' paradigm, once again. The NDA has substantial vote shares in all southern states.

Even in Tamil Nadu, where the NDA failed to win a seat, it was not due to any prevailing 'anti-north' sentiment but reasons specific to Tamil Nadu alone.

Sharan Setty (Sharan K A) is an Associate Editor at Swarajya. He tweets at @sharansetty2.

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