Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Colourful Campaigning Ends In Dravidian Heartland

Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Colourful Campaigning Ends In Dravidian Heartland

Never before in a Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu has a PM campaigned on a scale as this in which Modi not just addressed multiple public meetings at different venues but undertook roadshows in Chennai, Coimbatore, etc.

N ChithraUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 09:42 AM IST
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X, BJP Tamil Nadu

Campaigning for the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu, where voters of all 39 constituencies are set to vote in a single phase on April 19, ended on the evening of Wednesday after three weeks of high voltage campaign.

The contest in Tamil Nadu is 4-cornered with the DMK-led INDIA, AIADMK front, BJP-led NDA and Naam Tamilar Katchi field ing candidates. The lone Puducherry seat will also vote on Friday.

A significant feature of the poll season was the eight visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since February 27. Never before in a Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu has a PM campaigned on a scale as this in which Modi not just addressed multiple public meetings at different venues but undertook roadshows in Chennai, Coimbatore, etc.

In 1989, during the assembly poll, then PM Rajiv Gandhi made a dozen visits hoping to get his Congress to dislodge a divided AIADMK after the death of its founder and CM MG Ramachandran in December 1987. Yet it finished third behind the Jayalalithaa faction of AIADMK and eventually tied up with her.

This time with AIADMK split into groups after former CM J Jayalalithaa’s death, Modi included Tamil Nadu in his ‘southern push’ itinerary hoping it would add towards fulfilling his ambitious ‘Ab ki baar, 400 paar’ tally.

BJP's unprecedented Tamil Nadu push

For the first time, BJP is heading an alliance here. It has fielded heavyweights including its state president K Annamalai in Coimbatore, Union minister L Murugan in Nilgiris, former governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in Chennai South and party floor leader in assembly Nainar Nagendran in Tirunelveli. BJP’s allies, PMK has fielded leader Anbumani’s wife Sowmiya in Dharmapuri, former CM O Panneerselvam has entered the fray as an Independent backed by NDA in Theni and AMMK’s TTV Dhinakaran is contesting from Theni.

Modi’s campaign points were to accuse Congress and DMK of indulging in dynastic politics and corruption, besides being opponents of the Hindu religion. It was from

Chennai Modi coined the slogan, ‘Mera Bharat Mera Parivar’. He also harped on the “drug menace”.

Stalin slams Centre's GST disparity

DMK leader and CM MK Stalin, who handled INDIA campaign, repeatedly hit out against Modi accusing him of attempting to dismantle the Constitution and attempting to redraw the boundaries of the country to form a unitary India. One of his key campaign tools was to attack the Modi Government of not granting a single paise to Tamil Nadu to handle flood relief.

Besides, he charged that for every rupee the State gave to the Centre as GST it got back only 29 paise from it. Stalin also attacked AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami accusing him of staging a drama of snapping ties with BJP. Palaniswami, who single-handedly launched one of the season’s sharpest campaigns, made it clear the poll was only between AIADMK and DMK.

At one point, he began attacking BJP saying but for his leader Jayalalithaa, who aligned with BJP in 1998, no one in Tamil Nadu would have known about the ‘lotus’ symbol. NTK leader Seeman, who has fielded 20 women including forest brigand late Veerappan’s daughter Vidyarani in Krishnagiri, in his campaign consistently went after both national parties and Dravidian parties. Overall, it was a colourful campaign, to say the least.

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