The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has termed its performance in the recently concluded Karnataka assembly elections as its gateway to South India. However, the reactions that the saffron party received from the prominent regional parties governing three neighbouring states — Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — has been mixed.
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) has welcomed the victory and congratulated the saffron party for making a grand entry to South India. In a letter to BJP president Amit Shah, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, “On this cheerful occasion, I wish to express my warm greetings and felicitations for the significant victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka Assembly Elections, bellwethering a grand entry to South India.” In a separate letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Panneerselvam termed it a “momentous occasion” for the BJP.
While Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party- DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) also congratulated the BJP and its Chief Ministerial candidate B.S.Yedurappa, it did slip in the Cauvery issue into its midst. Taking to Facebook, party’s president M. K. Stalin said, “I believe the BJP, which is going to take charge, will not violate Tamil Nadu’s rights on Cauvery as per the Supreme Court order and strive for cordial ties with the neighbouring state.”
However, in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, no such heartwarming welcome or greetings came forth from any party. The TRS leadership in Telangana have spoken with the leaders of Congress and JD(S) regarding the formation of an anti-BJP alliance in Karnataka. The ruling TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, which rec ently broke ranks with the BJP, has said that the result will not have any impact on the state politics. Rajya Sabha Member and former Union Minister Y.S. Chowdary also dismissed talks of ‘Modi-magic’. “I don’t think this (Karnataka results) will have any impact on Andhra Pradesh,” Chowdary told The Indian Express.
In a tweet, BJPs National General Secretary Ram Madhav has criticised the tactics used by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to discourage Telugu voters from supporting BJP in Karnataka polls. “In Karnataka, TDP n Chandrababu Naidu have used all tactics to dissuade Telugu voters from supporting BJP. But in Hyderabad Karnataka where most Telugus live, BJP has increased its tally from 6 to 20+. People have rejected CBN’s politics. Our Southward March has begun, (sic)” Madhav said in a tweet.
Some sources in TDP told IE that more than 50,000 Telugu voters in 46 constituencies in Karnataka had voted for the Congress. The TDP also didn’t completely rule out the possibility of reconciliation between the BJP and the TDP in future. “My only wish is that politics is centred around real issues,” Chowdary told IE