BJP may use ‘positives’ to widen political base in TN

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    Chennai, April 6 (IANS) With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming eighth in terms of votes in Tamil Nadu in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it has a long way to go to establish itself in the state, but there are several positive signs that may shorten its growth phase, say party officials and a political analyst.

    “In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP was routed by the DMK-led alliance and the vote share came down to 3.5 per cent from 5.5 per cent secured in 2014. Similarly, in the rural local body polls, the BJP’s vote share was 1.2 per cent,” political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS.
    According to him and the party officials, the BJP’s strong point is the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The strong point is the party’s majority in the present Lok Sabha. Also, it will face the next general elections only in 2024,” Dhuraiswamy said.
    “A good number of middle class people, despite maintaining political neutrality, is now looking at Modi in a positive manner,” BJP state OBC Morcha chief S.K. Kharventhan told IANS.
    He claimed the party did well in the rural local body polls.
    L. Murugan’s appointment as the state party chief has accrued it some additional goodwill as he is from the Dalit community and is expected to bring in more Dalit votes.
    To widen the base, the party would have to actively hit the streets, taking up the issues faced by people, said a BJP leader. Of late, the party members have started doing that — meeting the District Collectors and giving memorandums to resolve issues faced by the people.
    “The DMK and the AIADMK grew their party via this route. Also, the party should nurture and cultivate more speakers for public meetings,” said a party leader.
    One big negative for the BJP is the sizeable number of visual and print media outlets are owned by supporters or leaders of rival parties. “The other weakness is that the BJP alternatively aligns with the AIADMK or the DMK,” Dhuraiswamy said..
    Meanwhile, the state party unit celebrated the 40th foundation day in a simple manner as the nation is fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Murugan hoisted the party flag at the BJP headquarters, with a limited number of members present.

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