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Lok Sabha polls 2024: Behind PM Narendra Modi's frequent visits to south lies BJP's 370 target

Lok Sabha polls 2024: Behind PM Narendra Modi's frequent visits to south lies BJP's 370 target


Speaking at a farewell meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalais En Mann En Makkal padayatra in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister called MGR an incomparable leader “in more than referring to Jayalalithaas' governance as the mark of dedicated service to the people of the state.

Some analysts said these comments were Prime Minister Modi's appeal to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) vote bank, while others said it was his indirect contact with the AIADMK, the opposition party in Tamil Nadu which was an ally of the BJP until last September. year.

Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday called Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders blind, over an advertisement by state ministers for a new Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) spaceport featuring the image of a rocket with the symbol of the Chinese flag.

The prime minister accused leaders of the DMK, Tamil Nadu's ruling party, of belittling “India's achievements, particularly its space program, and said the advertisement was an insult to scientists.”

Southward push

Analysts may differ, but one thing remains indisputable: Prime Minister Modi and the BJP's efforts to penetrate the south where the saffron party's presence, except in Karnataka, has fallen short ahead of the Lok Sabha elections .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on February 27 and 28 as part of his ambitious offensive towards the South. This is Prime Minister Modi's third visit to the southern states this year.

The Prime Minister began the year with a tour of Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep and Kerala on January 2 and 3, during which he inaugurated development projects worth thousands of crores. Prime Minister Modi also embarked on his 11-day tour of South India where he visited several temples associated with the Ramayan in the run-up to the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22. During his latest two-day trip, the Prime Minister said the BJP would win double-digit seats in Kerala while neighboring Tamil Nadu would create history in 2024.

Target 370

Of the 127 seats in five southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana and Union Territory Lakshadweep, the BJP could win only 29 in the bypolls. 2019 in Lok Sabha. Of them, 25 were from Karnataka and four from Telangana. The party failed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in 2019.

Also read: DMK government in Tamil Nadu not cooperating on central projects, says PM in Tirunelveli

Sources said the BJP's main target would be to secure 84 seats in south India, seats declared in the weak category which the party has never won. This figure is crucial if the party is to achieve its target of 370 seats for the BJP and over 400 for the NDA, analysts say.

Prime Minister Modi had first mentioned the target of 370 while speaking at a rally in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month. The BJP government revoked Article 370 of Jammu and Kashmir, granting it special status, in 2019,

Speculation within the BJP suggests that Prime Minister Modi's frequent visits to the south show his desire to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from a constituency in Tamil Nadu, or any neighboring state, apart from his Varanasi constituency .

Focus on the stands

The party is also planning to send senior party leaders and Union ministers to states south of Vindhya ahead of the 2024 elections. The idea is to meet party stakeholders with a focus on projects central.

Work to connect your booth people to the voter roll, encourage new voters and educate them about the benefits of voting,” PM Modi said while speaking at the Shakthikendra Incharges Sammelan in Kochi, Kerala on January 17 .

In Karnataka, the state it lost in the 2023 assembly elections, the BJP is making amends. Apart from an alliance with Janata Dal (Secular) to consolidate the Vokkaliga vote, the BJP is planning to replace more than half of the state's MLAs in the upcoming elections.

In Telangana, after its impressive performance in winning eight seats and doubling its vote share, the BJP is working on some organizational measures and aims to win at least 10 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats. The party also plans to forge alliances in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu ahead of the 2024 general elections.

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Published: February 28, 2024, 6:53 PM IST




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