Lok Sabha Election 2019: Voters' ire against AIADMIK government could prove costly for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's re-election bid as the BJP is hoping to cover any loss in north India by improving the NDA's tally in South.
Tamil Nadu Election 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s re-election bid largely depends on how BJP and NDA partners perform in South India. It’s essential to make up for any loss that the NDA may suffer in North India, the region which NDA had swept off in 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, voters’ unhappiness with its alliance partner AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu could derail the party’s plans in the state. Tamil Nadu sends 39 members in the Lok Sabha, fourth highest after Uttar Pradesh (80), Maharashtra (48), West Bengal (40).
According to a survey conducted by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the performance of state government in three areas: better employment opportunities, healthcare and availability of drinking water, the three most important election issues for the state voters, was below average.
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Better employment opportunities was the most important election issue for over 40% of total 19,500 respondents who took part in the survey covering all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu. Respondents assigned 2.25 marks in a scale of 5 to the performance of EK Palaniswami government in terms of creating employment opportunities, which below average.
Similarly, the performance of AIADMK government on the second most important election issue: better healthcare and primary healthcare facilities was even worse at 2.34 on a scale of five. The respondents gave average 2.41 marks for its performance in providing drinking water in the state.
Findings of the survey should be a cause of concern for the BJP as it was banking on its alliance partner AIADMK to retain a large number of total 37 seats won by the party in the last election. However, after the death of its charismatic leader J Jayalalitha in December 2016, no AIADMK leader commands that kind of voter’s loyalty and affection of the people.
This is the first election in the state that is taking place in absence of two of its tallest leaders M Karunanidi and J Jayalalitha. Absence of these two iconic figures gives hopes to national parties like BJP and the Congress to make inroads in the state politics. While BJP is banking on the popularity Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress is hoping to cash in on Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad in neighbouring state Kerala to woo southern voters.