BJP increases its vote share in southern states, more than 26% leap in Telangana

BJP has emerged as the second-largest party in telangana, and interestingly, the party has managed to increase its vote share by around 26 percent.

BySumit Jha

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 4:00 PMUpdatedJun 05, 2024 | 4:00 PM

BJP vote share in South India

The BJP has reasons to cheer despite its much-hyped south push not paying the expected dividend.

With 29 of the 129 South Indian Lok Sabha seats in its kitty, the party has increased its vote shares in the four states.

In Karnataka — the only state in the south where the BJP had been in power — the saffron party won 17 of the 28 Parliament seats, securing 45.43 percent of the vote share.

In other states where it did not perform as well as in Karnataka, the BJP still increased its vote share. The increase could be attributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s influence and the party’s strategic alliance.

Related: Congress emerges largest party with over 40 seats, halts BJP southern push

BJP shines in Telangana 

The BJP has eight out of 17 seats in Telangana, a significant improvement from the four seats it had secured in 2019. It emerged as the second-largest party in the state, and interestingly, besides increasing its vote share by around 26 percent to 35.8 percent.

In 2019, the party secured only 9.19 percent of the vote share. However, in 2024, it managed to get 35.08 percent of the vote share by itself. In 2014, when it contested in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party, the BJP garnered 10.46 percent of the vote share.

The biggest loser in this election is the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which saw a sharp decline in its vote share. The BRS’s vote share in the 2019 election was 41.71 percent, but it could secure only 16.68 percent in the latest election.

Meanwhile, the Congress secured the highest vote share of 40.10 percent, a significant increase from its 29.79 percent vote share in 2019 and 24.68 percent in 2014.

“We have voted for the Congress in Telangana during the Assembly election, but for the parliamentary election, it’s always the Narendra Modi,” a security guard who identified only as Naveen told South First in Mahabubnagar.

“Modi has taken the country to the highest level, and fulfilled the promise, unlike the Congress which came to power promising loan waivers. It has not done anything so far, he added.

Related: What led to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s rout in Andhra Pradesh?

The Andhra story

A late alliance helped the BJP to secure 11.41 percent of the vote share in Andhra Pradesh.

The party cannot boast of a sound cadre base or organisational network in the Telugu state, but striking an alliance — after much hesitation — with the TDP and JSP helped it to perform better at the hustings. The BJP’s vote share increased around 10 percent from 0.98 percent in 2019.

In 2014, the BJP’s vote share was 7.22 percent when it contested the polls in alliance with the TDP.

A TDP wave helped the BJP increase its vote share in Andhra Pradesh. However, despite the increased vote share, it won only three of the six contested Lok Sabha seats.

While contesting alone in 2019, the BJP drew a blank. In 2014, the TDP alliance helped it win two seats.

Related: How BJP-led NDA fared in the home constituencies of chief ministers

Zilch in Tamil Nadu

Exit polls got the voters wrong and predicted three to five seats for the BJP in Tamil Nadu. However, not even its state president K Annamalai could win in the southern state, even as the DMK-led INDIA bloc had the last laugh.

Despite its defeat in all 19 seats contested, the BJP increased its vote share to 10.62 percent, up from the 3.62 percent secured when it contested five seats in alliance with the AIADMK.

In the 2014 election, the BJP had won two seats in Tamil Nadu and secured 5.56 percent of the vote share. It had then contested along with the AIADMK.

Related: UDF dominates, BJP enters, LDF struggles

Scripting history in Kerala

The BJP opened its account in Kerala — a state that traditionally rejected saffron politics — by winning the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency.

The breakthrough came through actor-politician Suresh Gopi who left his heavyweight rivals VS Sunilkumar of the CPI and K Muraleedharan of the Congress far behind in Kerala’s cultural capital.

Though Gopi, a former Rajya Sabha member, became the BJP’s first-ever Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, the party did not gain much vote share. Its latest vote share stood at 16.68 percent, up a little over three percent from the previous election.

In 2019, the BJP secured a vote share of 13 percent,  and 10.33 percent in 2014. The party has been gradually making inroads in Kerala, which alternated between the Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led LDF.

Though BJP’s Thiruvananthapuram candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar led Congress’s Shashi Tharoor by over 20,000 votes at one stage of counting, he later conceded defeat.

A junior minister in the outgoing Cabinet, Chandrasekhar secured 35.52 percent of the vote share against Tharoor’s 54.87 percent.

Besides Chandrasekhar, another Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan, too, tasted defeat. He came third behind Adoor Prakash of the Congress and V Joy of the CPI(M) in Attingal.

Related: Despite alliance with JD(S), BJP settles for 17 seats in Karnataka

Swinging Karnataka

Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP had been in power. Though the party saw a slip in its vote share, it won 17 seats. The BJP contested the polls in alliance with the JD(S).

In 2014, the party secured 43 percent of the vote share and won 17 seats. In the next general election, the party garnered 51.75 percent of the vote share and won 25 out of the 28 seats. Its vote share dipped to 46.06 percent in the just concluded election.

Incidentally, BJP ally JD(S)’s vote share also decreased to 5.60 percent from 9.74 percent secured in the previous election. The ruling Congress, however, increased its vote share to 45.43 percent from the previous 32.11 percent.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).