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AIADMK’s loss is BJP’s gain: Analysts say BJP could become a strong player in central & south Chennai

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CHENNAI: In the polls to Greater Chennai Corporation, the BJP secured its deposit in 20 wards, pushing AIADMK to the third in most wards. It also came third in a handful of wards.

The BJP did well in central and south Chennai zones such as Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Alandur, Adyar and Perugandi, where it got 16%-20% of the vote. In ward 134, its candidate, Uma Anandhan, won with a 43% vote share, while in ward 187, the BJP placed second with 31% of the vote.

Overall, though, the BJP managed just 7. 9% of the vote to the AIADMK’s 21%, but analysts say the saffron party’s performance would give it confidence to contest alone the upcoming elections too, given that the AIADMK vote bank has already eroded and largely has gone to the DMK, which bagged up to 70% votes in many wards.

Political observer ‘Tharasu’ Shyam said BJP state president K Annamalai may be keen on continuing to contesting alone or in a non-AIADMK alliance. “The AIADMK’s vote bank in Chennai has already gone to DMK. This is also a reason why the government celebrated former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s birthday on February 24, to send a message to AIADMK supporters that the party respects their leaders too,” he said. This could help dilute anti-DMK sentiments among AIADMK cadres, he added. “An AIADMK supporter will vote for DMK but may not vote for others. ”

In Chennai, the BJP may no longer see the use in allying with AIADMK anymore and may directly oppose DMK. “The BJP too may explore possibilities of alliance with Makkal Needhi Maiam and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazham,” said Tharasu.

Vijay Anand, BJP district president (Central Chennai East), said that of the 20 wards where the party secured deposits, nine are from his district comprising Harbour, Kodambakkam and Thousand Lights. “Many AIADMK people alleged they lost because of us in 2021. Now, we have proved our vote bank in the city. We defi nitely have aspirations to contest alone. However, the leadership will decide. ”

Political analyst Raveendran Duraiswamy said the BJP could be a strong player in central and south Chennai. “A section of AIADMK votes here went towards BJP. Without BJP, AIADMK too cannot win here anymore,” he said.

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