In Tamil Nadu, 38 out of 39 seats are up for voting. This southern state is crucial for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is contesting this election in alliance with ruling AIADMK — the party which swept the region in the last elections by bagging 37 out of 39 seats with over 44 per cent vote share.
Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Polls: Polling for the second phase has begun. Among the states where voting is underway are Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, UP, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir. In Tamil Nadu, 38 out of 39 seats are up for voting. This southern state is crucial for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is contesting this election in alliance with ruling AIADMK — the party which swept the region in the last elections by bagging 37 out of 39 seats with over 44 per cent vote share.
This time, the saffron party is expecting to compensate some of the possible losses in the Hindi heartland from states such as Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Karnataka. It is in this backdrop that the results in Tamil Nadu become important for the saffron party. While elections in the state have primarily been a contest between the DMK and AIADMK, with towering personalities like M Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha no longer present, this general election could be anyone’s game.
What happened in 2014 Lok Sabha polls
In 2014, the BJP could win only one seat of Kanyakumari with a total of 5.5 per cent vote share. Its current partner AIADMK under the leadership of late Jayalalitha won 37 out of 39 seats. On the other hand, Karunanidhi-led DMK got over 23 per cent vote share but could not win even a single seat. This time, the DMK has joined hands with the Congress which got 4.3 per cent vote share in the last general elections.
Who is contesting on how many seats?
With a new alliance in place, the fight in the state has broadly become NDA vs UPA. Under the arrangement, the saffron party is contesting on five seats whereas AIADMK will fight on 25 seats. Another regional outfit Pattali Makkal Katchi has also joined the grand alliance and will fight on seven seats. To challenge this alliance, Stalin-led DMK has partnered with Congress.
The DMK is contesting on 20 seats while leaving 20 seats for other allies. The grand old party is fighting on 10 seats including Puducherry. The other alliance partners are CPI (2 seats), VCK (2), CPM (2), MDMK (1), KMDK (1), IUML (1) and IJK (1).
What pre-poll surveys predict
As per various poll numbers published as early as April 8, the UPA has an edge in the state with almost all agencies giving 20 to 33 seats. The Chanakyaa (Rangaraj Pandey) has predicted 20-25 for the UPA and 15-20 for the NDA. Times Now-VMR has projected 33 seats for UPA and 6 for the NDA. IndiaTV-CNX has predicted UPA to win 21 and NDA 13 seats. It has given five seats to others. Republic TV has given 18-19 seats to UPA and 20-21 seats to NDA. It is the only agency that has predicted a higher number of seats to the NDA.