Over the last few weeks, the political corridors of the national Capital are rife with speculations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may choose a Tamil Nadu constituency as his second seat to contest from during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Though BJP leaders deny it officially, they concede that if PM Modi chooses to fight from Tamil Nadu, which is a strong possibility, it could help the party in several ways. Besides establishing the party as a pan Indian one, it can also help the party to counter the possible shortfall of seats in the Northern part of India.
“In a strategically fought election with allies and Modiji as the candidate, the BJP stands a fair chance to win anywhere between 6 to 12 seats in Tamil Nadu. It can have a ripple effect on the elections, and will help the party bridge the shortfall that may occur in North India,” said a source.
The BJP has long cherished a dream to spread its base in South India where it remained a pariah for long. PM Modi being the winning candidate from Tamil Nadu can break that jinx and take the party to the level that once was enjoyed by the Congress.
Until 1991, the Congress had the advantage of being a pan India party with a strong contender base in both North and South India, and this helped it to be in the power saddle at the Centre.
Faring its chances, the party thinks that 5.5% vote share, that the party secured in Tamil Nadu during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, can see a quantum jump if PM Modi fights from here with the help of alliance partners — MDMK, PMK, DMDK and three other smaller parties.
PM Modi’s increased interest in Tamil Nadu is also reflected through his increased interactions with the state in terms of visits and video conferences.
Sources say that PM Modi may contest from either Kanyakumari in the southern part or Coimbatore and Tirupur in the western part of the state — regions where the party has a fair presence.
“We feel an alliance comprising AIADMK, BJP, Vijayakanth’s DMDK, Ramdoss’s PMK and Kongu Makkal Desiya Katchi will particularly do well in western and northern Tamil Nadu,” said a senior BJP leader.