Tamil Nadu's three-cornered conflict is set in motion...

S Venkateshwari
Tamil Nadu's three-cornered conflict is set in motion...

The first phase of lok sabha elections will take place on april 19(tomorrow), with voting on all 39 seats in tamil Nadu. The fate of over 950 candidates vying for the 39 seats will be determined by voting at 68,000 polling places throughout the state. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), led by chief minister MK Stalin, is running in the elections in cooperation with the Congress. The alliance led by the DMK secured 38 of the state's 39 parliamentary seats in 2019. It is a triangular campaign between the state's ruling party-led alliance and its opponents, the All india Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Bhartiya Janata party (BJP), who have formed distinct alliances, unlike in 2019.

Turning Point

Since 2004, when the DMK-led front won all the seats, tamil Nadu has frequently seen elections swept by one of the two major alliances. The DMK-led alliance gained 27 seats in the 2009 election, with the AIADMK alliance winning the remaining 11 seats. This election was an anomaly.

In 2014, the alliance led by AIADMK secured 37 seats in tamil Nadu. 2019 saw the state's lok sabha elections overwhelmingly won by the DMK-led alliance.

E Palaniswami, a former chief minister and opposition leader who challenged the DMK-led government, spearheaded the AIADMK campaign. Palaniswami accused the bjp of discriminating on the grounds of "caste and religion" toward the end of his campaign, even as he continued to criticize the DMK on a number of other topics.

Among the well-known DMK candidates in the election are dayanidhi maran (Central Chennai), A Raja (Nilgiris), and kanimozhi (Thoothukudi). Other candidates that are being closely observed include J Jayavardhan of the AIADMK (South Chennai) and karti chidambaram of the congress party (Sivaganga).

The Modi push

This election is particularly important because of the BJP's intense campaign, which prime minister Narendra Modi is leading. In an attempt to establish a presence in a state that has traditionally been ruled alternatively by Dravidian parties, the PM traveled to the state roughly ten times before the april 19 elections.

In addition to the BJP's goal of 370 seats, the state is significant because in the 2019 elections, the party did not win a single seat, even though it won a majority with 303 seats overall. The bjp used a real-time artificial intelligence program to translate PM Modi's hindi remarks into tamil in order to reach a wider audience.

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