BJP draws a blank in Tamil Nadu, but vote share rises to 11 per cent

Saffron party pushes AIADMK to third place in 10 constituencies
BJP cadre in Chennai celebrate even as the party-led NDA faced defeat in all the seats in Tamil Nadu
BJP cadre in Chennai celebrate even as the party-led NDA faced defeat in all the seats in Tamil Nadu (Photo | Ashwin Prasath)

CHENNAI: The BJP’s state unit, which has been trying to gain a strong foothold for a long time, has improved its vote share in the 2024 Lok Sabha election by securing around 11% votes. The party contested 23 seats by fielding senior leaders in key constituencies but could not win any seat.

Since the BJP got a 3.58% vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, getting around 11% votes this time in alliance with many parties will help it prepare for the 2026 Assembly election.

The NDA’s vote share in Tamil Nadu this time is 18.2% against 18.5% in 2014.

In this election, the BJP’s candidates have pushed the AIADMK candidates to third place in 10 constituencies. BJP state president K Annamalai is the runner-up candidate in Coimbatore. Though he could not win the seat, pushing the AIADMK to third place in a constituency considered the Dravidian major’s bastion assumes importance.

However, Annamalai claimed a two-digit win and around 25% vote share for the alliance led by the saffron party, which he could not realise. Tamilisai Soundararajan pushed two-time AIADMK MP D Jayavardhan to third place in the South Chennai.

After Annamalai took over the reins of the state unit three years ago, he adopted an aggressive posture against the Dravidian majors and at one point of time, he made it clear that the DMK was forming its own alliance rather than depending on the AIADMK. His repeated criticisms of AIADMK leaders caused bitterness among senior functionaries. He visited all 234 Assembly constituencies through his ‘En Mann, En Makkal’ yatra to boost the morale of the party cadre and kept the party always in the media limelight.

Unfazed by the outcome, Annamalai said in a statement, “Although the NDA candidates could not head to Parliament through this Lok Sabha election, we will double our work to get your recognition in the coming days. We are happy that people of Tamil Nadu have extended their support to the NDA for its continuance in state politics as an unavoidable force.”

Talking to TNIE, senior journalist GC Sekhar said pushing the AIADMK to third place in 10 seats is a significant victory for the BJP.

“Only when a party comes to the second position, it can aim for first. As such, the BJP under the leadership of Annamalai has made significant strides. The party has to strengthen its grassroots-level machinery in the coming years. The result shows the BJP has tremendous room for improvement in the coming days,” he added.

Political analyst Tharasu Shyam said there could be several changes in the top leadership of the BJP in the coming days because the party could not get a simple majority on its own. Depending on that, there could be changes in the state unit too.

“Annamalai boasted about a double-digit win and achieving 25% vote share. Both did not happen. Getting around 10% vote share in the present election system and in an alliance is not a big victory,” Shyam said.

The saffron party has lost deposit in 11 seats.

Annamalai congratulates DMK candidate

In a post on X, Annamalai said: “I bow down to the people of the Coimbatore Parliamentary constituency & thank the 4.5 lakh voters who bestowed their faith in NDA & @BJP4TamilNadu. You believed in the vision of our Hon PM Shri @narendramodi avl for his Viksit Bharat. You have given us historic votes in the history of Coimbatore PC for NDA, and still, we were short of the winning mark (sic). I convey my best wishes to the winning DMK candidate of Coimbatore, Thiru Raj Kumar avl. I take this opportunity also to wish the candidates from other political parties & the independent candidates who participated in the race to be Coimbatore PC’s Member of Parliament.”

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