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Annamalai factor plays spoilsport for PM Modi, AIADMK alike

The BJP’s Lotus symbol, which contested directly in 19 Lok Sabha constituencies and through alliance parties in 4 seats, instead of getting the expected victory, has split the votes significantly and discursively helped the DMK-led INDIA bloc to win.

Annamalai factor plays spoilsport for PM Modi, AIADMK alike
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BJP cadre rejoice over NDA’s victory in Chennai on Tuesday 

CHENNAI: BJP state president K Annamalai’s effort to go alone and win has only helped the DMK in the state as the results of the Lok Sabha elections have shown. The image of Annamalai, built with great expectation that he will develop and strengthen the saffron party in the Dravidian heartland, had failed to work in the 18th Lok Sabha general elections.

According to the Election Commission’s data (as of 8 pm, Tuesday), in Tamil Nadu, the BJP’s Lotus symbol, which contested directly in 19 Lok Sabha constituencies and through alliance parties in 4 seats, instead of getting the expected victory, has split the votes significantly and discursively helped the DMK-led INDIA bloc to win.

After severing ties with the AIADMK, one of the Dravidian majors, the BJP, which stood alone, secured 11.07 per cent of the votes, the AIADMK got 20.49 per cent of the votes and the DMK secured 26.49 per cent of the total votes and its ally Congress registered about 10 per cent of vote share.

Annamalai’s effort to boost BJP has only helped the DMK as it came distant second in Chennai Central, Chennai South, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Kanniyakumari, Madurai, The Nilgiris, Ramanathapuram, Theni, Tirunelveli, Tiruvallur and Vellore constituencies. The saffron party also pushed its former ally AIADMK to third place in 12 seats.

It may be noted that if the AIADMK and BJP had allied the odds would have turned in favour of the NDA at least in dozen seats. For instance, the combined vote share of BJP and AIADMK was above the winning DMK candidates tally in Virudhunagar, Villupuram, Tirupur, Tenkasi, Sivaganga, Salem, Pollachi, Krishnagiri, Karur, Kallakurichi, Cuddalore and Chidambaram seats.

At the national level, the BJP-led NDA has won 292 seats, while the BJP leaders claimed that the NDA alliance would win more than 400 LS seats. “If the AIADMK-BJP alliance would have continued intact the alliance would have won several seats increasing the NDA tally,” opined political commentator Agneeswaran adding that the young BJP leader had played spoilsport for both PM Modi and AIADMK.

Speaking to DT Next, a BJP candidate and a senior leader seeking anonymity blamed the defeat due to the high handedness of BJP state president. “Annamalai has caused a huge setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA at the national level. He also had thwarted the chances of TN BJP leaders from becoming Union ministers in the center through the Lok Sabha,” the leader admitted.

“We also thought that breaking the alliance with AIADMK was tantamount to suicide. Our national high command, realising this, was trying to revive the ties even before the Lok Sabha polls. Antagonising AIADMK, which has the largest vote bank in the state, Annamalai convinced our high command and formed a separate alliance to improve his image. Although he said that the target is to win up to 20 per cent votes securing 5 to 8 Lok Sabha seats, the TN ground reality proved different. Our vote share has increased to 11 per cent. But, our alliance drew a blank in a big state like TN. The former ally AIADMK had also faced severe defeat,” the BJP leader said.

Echoing this, BJP state vice-president Narayanan Thirupathy said the saffron party has decided the victory of DMK and defeat of AIADMK in many Lok Sabha constituencies.

“Those who said that the BJP cannot establish a foothold in Tamil Nadu are stunned that the BJP has taken root,” he said.

Ramakrishna N
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