Regional parties gain upper hand in South India

Wednesday 29th May 2019 06:35 EDT

Chennai: While the rest of India was swept under the 'Tsunamo', five southern states, except Karnataka, still resisted the Modi wave in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Among the five states - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana, only Karnataka resonated with what was happening north of the Vindhyas i.e. to give an emphatic triumph to the BJP. It won 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.

But, what unites the southern states in these elections is that people here have voted against the parties who are in power in these states. The five southern states collectively send 130 MPs to the Lok Sabha. Excluding Vellore - where elections have been cancelled - this number comes down to 128. If we add one seat each of Puducherry and Lakshadweep, South India sends 130 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

AIADMK sweeps Tamil Nadu

The ruling AIADMK had registered a landslide win in the 2014 elections under the leadership of its late supremo Jayalalithaa. It was able to win 37 of the 39 seats in the state. AIADMK also emerged as the third largest party in the Lok Sabha in 2014. But when results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were announced, the AIADMK suffered a major setback with now having just one to representative in the Lower House. BJP too failed to win any seat. The DMK, the principal opposition party, on the other hand has won 23 seats. In 2014, it won zero. The Congress, which had joined hands with the DMK, has won eight seats, CPI and CPM 2 seats each, IUML, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katch one each.

YSR Cong dwarfs Naidu's TDP in Andhra

In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu may have held hectic parleys with opposition leaders to form an anti-BJP grand alliance. But when results in Andhra Pradesh were declared, he was left with nothing to hold on to. Considered a powerful regional party, the TDP has suffered a humiliating defeat having able to win only three of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh.

YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress registered its best performance in Lok Sabha elections with a landslide victory with 22 seats as compared to 8 seats in 2014. Five years on, the party has also won the assembly election giving a double defeat to Chandrababu Naidu.

Kerala: Left is completely left out

Kerala is the only bastion of the Communist parties in India after being routed in West Bengal by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and in Tripura by the BJP. Of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, Congress won 19 seats against 8 seats in 2014, leaving out just one seat for the Left parties. BJP, just like 2014, failed yet again to open its account in Kerala.

Karnataka: Lotus blooms again

The people of Karnataka had a clear mandate - a BJP government headed by Narendra Modi. It mattered little that it is the Congress-JD (S) government which is ruling the state at present. Of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, the BJP has won 25, which is eight more that its tally in 2014. The Congress and JD(S) have one seat each while the remaining one seat was won by an Independent. The BJP's gain is not limited just to seats but even in terms of vote share the party has increased from 43.37 per cent votes in 2014 to 51.4 per cent this time. Contrasting this, Congress which had a vote share of 41.15 per cent in 2014 has been reduced to 31.88 per cent this time.

Telangana: KCR guards his ranks

Telangana is the only state in South India where the ruling party was somehow able to safeguard its interest in these Lok Sabha elections. The people of Telangana have chosen to repose their trust on the K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR)-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The TRS has won nine of the 17 Lok Sabha seats this time. The BJP was able to make some inroads in the state and win four seats while the Congress picked up three. Hyderabad seat was won by AIMIM.

Puducherry & Lakshadweep: One each for NCP-Cong

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) contested against each other in Lakshadweep and the contest was tough and close. In the end, NCP won the contest by a margin of 829 seats against Congress. In Puducherry the ruling Congress was able to guard its seat and also increase vote share. It won the Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and has been able to retain it this time. Its vote share has increased from 27.16 per cent to 56.27 per cent this time.

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