South India: Possible Key to India’s Next Government

south india paper
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India’s southern states could hold the fulcrum of power in New Delhi if the current parliamentary polls result in a hung Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament.

Unlike in the northern Hindi heartland states, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a major player in only one of five south Indian states, Karnataka.
It is, however, hoping to open its account in Kerala after the recent Sabarimala controversy and has entered into a wider alliance in Tamil Nadu with the state’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagamwhich swept the state in 2014 but now faces a major challenge of anti-incumbency.
The BJP’s southern powerplay, combined with Rahul Gandhi’s gambit of leading his party’s southern charge from the front by contesting from Wayanad in Kerala, indicates how crucial the southern states will be as swing factors in government-formation if no party wins an absolute majority.
This paper summarises the political outlook in India’s five southern states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – examines key factors at play and puts together cumulative data from various state-wise opinion polls to illustrate likely prospects in this crucial region in India’s national election.



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