Tamil Nadu: Vijay’s Anti-NEET Stance Is Good For Annamalai And BJP

S Rajesh

Jul 06, 2024, 03:24 PM | Updated 03:31 PM IST

Vijay's anti-NEET stance is beneficial for the BJP
Vijay's anti-NEET stance is beneficial for the BJP
  • After Vijay's recent speech, the field is left open for Annamalai and the BJP to become the real opposition to the DMK.
  • Responding to actor Vijay’s remark that he was against the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai said it was good news for them as it would make his party stand out. 

    While it is well known that all major parties in the state, except the BJP, oppose NEET, Vijay’s stance was not clear until he made his speech.

    The actor's use of the term "ondriya arasu" to describe the Union government all but confirmed which side of the political aisle he is leaning towards.

    The use of this Tamil term is criticised by members and supporters of the BJP, as they consider it better suited for describing a 'block-level panchayat'.

    While it is true that Vijay hasn’t shown all his cards yet and there could be some surprises in store, at least after this speech, he no longer seems to embody the ‘change’ that was expected.

    And with the actor no longer seen as a distinctive political alternative, the field is left open for the BJP and Annamalai to call themselves the real opposition to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

    But what about the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) or the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), you might wonder?

    While the AIADMK, as the principal opposition party, portrays itself as the one that could replace the DMK, there isn’t much difference between the two.

    Since quitting the alliance with the BJP, it has also walked nearly the same path as the DMK.

    The AIADMK has sought to appease minorities by demanding the release of Muslim prisoners serving long sentences and opposing the notification of rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed Uniform Civil Code.

    The NTK, which stood out as different, would also lose the 'alternative' tag if the rumoured alliance with the AIADMK and Vijay’s Tamizhaga Vetri Kazhagam (TVK) fructifies.

    While Vijay could still pose a threat to Annamalai and the BJP (as he might take a part of the youth vote with him), and a rumoured NTK-TVK-AIADMK alliance could play spoilsport, those who do not support the Dravidian parties would only be left with one option — the BJP. 

    Vijay’s TVK is thus more likely to draw votes away from the Dravidian majors DMK and AIADMK, who together have a committed vote share of almost 50 per cent, rather than from the remaining 50 per cent. The latter consists of swing voters and the supporters of smaller parties and the BJP.

    Consequently, it is likely to be easier for the BJP to take its vote share higher than the 11.24 per cent it secured in the 2024 Lok Sabha election and potentially win a few assembly seats in 2026.

    Also Read: Dravidian All The Way: Vijay’s Speech On NEET Confirms His Ideological Outlook

    S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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