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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Stage set for three-cornered fight in Tamil Nadu after PM Modi's campaign blitz
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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Stage set for three-cornered fight in Tamil Nadu after PM Modi's campaign blitz

Chief Minister MK Stalin-led DMK is contesting the Lok Sabha elections on 39 seats of Tamil Nadu in alliance with Congress in Phase 1 voting on April 19. In 2019, the DMK-led alliance had won 38 of the 39 seats in the state.

Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Stage set for a three-cornered fight post PM Modi campaign blitz in Tamil Nadu  (BJP media)Premium
Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Stage set for a three-cornered fight post PM Modi campaign blitz in Tamil Nadu  (BJP media)

Voting on all 39 seats of Tamil Nadu will be held in the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections on April 19. The poling at 68,000 polling stations of the state will decide the fate of approximately 950 candidates vying for the 39 seats.

Chief Minister MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is contesting the elections in alliance with the Congress. In 2019, the DMK-led alliance had won 38 of the 39 parliamentary constituencies in the state.

Follow Live Updates on Lok Sabha Elections 2024 Here

The state's ruling party-led alliance is fighting against rivals, the All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), who have forged separate alliances, unlike in 2019, making it a triangular contest.

Revolving Door

Tamil Nadu has often witnessed elections swept by one of the two major alliances since 2004 when the DMK-led front had swept the polls, winning all the seats. The 2009 election was an exception when DMK-led alliance won 27 seats and the AIADMK alliance won remaining 11 seats.

The AIADMK-led alliance won 37 seats of Tamil Nadu in 2014. In 2019, DMK-led alliance swept the Lok Sabha Elections in the state.

AIADMK’s campaign was led by E Palaniswami, former Chief Minister and leader of opposition who took on the ruling DMK during his campaign. While Palaniswami  attacked the DMK on various issues, he also targeted the BJP towards the fag end of his campaign blaming the former ally of being discriminatory on the basis of "caste and religion."

Dayanidhi Maran (Central Chennai), A Raja (Nilgiris), Kanimozhi (Thoothukudi) are prominent DMK faces in the election. Congress party's Karti Chidambaram (Sivaganga) and AIADMK's J Jayavardhan (South Chennai) are other watched candidates being watched keenly.

The Modi Push

This election holds significant importance this time, given the vigorous campaign led by the BJP, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM visited the state approximately ten times leading up to the April 19 polls, as part of the saffron party’s efforts to gain foothold in a state that has historically been governed alternately by Dravidian parties.

The state holds significance for the BJP not only due to its target of 370-seats but also because it failed to secure a single seat in the 2019 elections despite winning a majority with 303 seats nationwide. To reach a broader audience, the BJP utilized an artificial intelligence-driven app to translate PM Modi's Hindi speeches into Tamil in real-time.

Also Read: Katchatheevu Island Row: Why has the controversy resurfaced ahead of LS polls? What did India do 50 years ago?

While the Prime Minister’s campaign largely focused on targeting the DMK-Congress alliance over alleged corruption and dynasty politics, a significant issue that featured in the campaign was the Katchatheevu island of Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister and the BJP accused the Congress party of gifting the island to Sri Lanka fifty years ago.

In a recent interview, the Prime Minister said that the party’s legwork in five Southern states, including Tamil Nadu, is not a recent phenomenon driven by electoral compulsions.

Coimbatore Contest

One of the key contests among BJP candidates was Coimbatore, where the party has fielded its state unit president and former cop-turned politician K Annamalai, arguably the most prominent leader for the party in Tamil Nadu.

The ruling DMK seems to be comfortably placed in some seats, but it is facing resistance in some regions from AIADMK and the BJP-led NDA, according to a report in Indian Express.

Some reports suggest that AIADMK has fielded weak candidates against the BJP-led alliance candidates. This, however, doesn’t hold true for Coimbatore where both the DMK and AIADMK are trying best to defeat the BJP’s state unit chief.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Behind PM Narendra Modi's frequent visits to south is BJP's target 370

The DMK has fielded Ganapathi P Rajkumar from the seat while the AIADMK has fielded Singai G Ramachandran from Coimbatore. The CPI (M) leader, PR Natarajan won the seat in 2019 in alliance with DMK. The BJP has won the seat once in 1999.

The prominent NDA faces include BJP’s Nainar Nagendran in Tirunelveli, AC Shanmugam in Vellore, Pon Radhakrishnan in Kanyakumari, AMMK’s TTV Dhinakaran in Theni and independent candidate O Panneerselvam, who is contesting from Ramananthapuram with NDA’s backing.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 04:29 PM IST
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