Kakkaji wrote:In TN, is there an anti-incumbency against AIADMK? Is Jayalalitha's fan-following still with AIADMK, or have her successors squandered her goodwill among her voters?
Anti-incumbency is not much. The EPS-OPS combine has mostly worked, to everybody's surprise. Having said that, the Jaya factor will not be much as this is not a state election. Similarly, for the Karunanidhi factor.*
Most people have decided one way or the other, and the meme factories have done some damage on behalf of the DMK-Congress combine. However, the NDA with AIADMK in the fold will put up a good fight. Overall, I expect UPA to get around 15 seats out of 39, and the NDA to get the rest. The single Pondicherry seat will also go to UPA.
BJP is contesting in 5 seats, and I expect they'd win at least 2: Kanniyakumari (Pon R) and Coimbatore (CP Radhakrishnan has been a BJP MP from here during NDA-1). They might win Ramanathapuram as well, as Nainar Nagendran is a seasoned and strong local guy and ex-AIADMK to boot. There is a polarization factor here that could sway things toward the NDA. Sivaganga will be interesting - H Raja of the BJP vs. Chiddu's son Karthi. I'd like BJP to win this, but with Congress and DMK combining this time, they will put up a fight. I don't know how the sitting AIADMK MP is perceived here, that could impact the NDA's prospects either way.
Thoothukudi will be an interesting fight. Tamilisai of BJP vs Kanimozhi of DMK will play out here, and caste equations will come into play. Tamilisai will do okay, but Kanimozhi being Karunanidhi's daughter, the DMK will put up a tough fight. Both being Nadars, community support would be crucial. I read elsewhere that the Nadars are polarized between Hindu and Christian parts (about 30% Nadars are Catholics, and the rest staunch Hindus), and Modi has a good image in the Hindu side. The Sterlite issue could have some impact, but how the Nadar community votes will decide this seat. I think Tamilisai will do well, but DMK might end up winning this narrowly.
Another strong community in these parts is of the Devendrakula Vellalars. Their main party, Puthiya Tamizhagam is aligned with NDA, and Modi is well regarded in this community too (this community is also unique in asking for their removal from SC and moved to OBC). There are some Christians here too, but they are smaller in number than in the Nadar community. Net net, I expect PT to win Tenkasi, where this community is more dominant, so that will be another seat for the NDA. Tamilisai would have done better in this seat, but coalition dharma and all that. But the neighbouring Tirunelveli seat would go to the NDA (AIADMK) due to similar factors.
Apart from the above, the western TN (Salem-CBE) belt, also known as Kongu belt, will mostly vote NDA (EPS is from Edappadi, near Salem). Same goes for the deep south - mostly NDA with UPA only in pockets. However, given the almost clean sweep for AIADMK in 2014, they are bound to lose a few seats, particularly near Thanjavur in central TN - Dinakaran's AMMK will cut into their votes and OPS may not be able to counter it much (both are from this region). This apart, the DMK is traditionally stronger in this region.
My final take:
KK: NDA (BJP)
Tenkasi: NDA (PT)
Tirunelveli: NDA (AIADMK)
Thoothukudi: likely UPA (DMK), see above.
Virudhunagar: hard to tell
Theni: NDA (AIADMK)
Sivaganga: hard to tell, but I'd say UPA (Congress), see above.
Ramanathapuram: likely NDA (BJP), see above.
Madurai: NDA (AIADMK)
Dindugul: NDA (AIADMK)
Summary: NDA: 7, UPA: 2, hard to tell: 1
Tiruchi: likely UPA (Congress). DMDK is contesting for NDA here, which indicates AIADMK wasn't sure of winning despite having won the last two consecutive terms. However, this has also voted BJP in the past (R Kumaramangalam), so could end up being too close to call.
Thanjavur: likely UPA (DMK), but AMMK might pull a surprise here.
Nagapattinam: possibly NDA (AIADMK), but AMMK would be a factor here too.
Chidambaram: possibly UPA (VCK), but too close to call.
Cuddalore: NDA (PMK)
Perambalur: UPA (DMK)
Mayiladuthurai: likely UPA (DMK), but AIADMK might retain this seat.
Summary: NDA: 2, UPA: 4, hard to tell: 1
Karur: NDA (AIADMK). This is Thambidurai's (current Dy LS Speaker) stronghold.
Pollachi: NDA (AIADMK). The recent scandal would hurt AIADMK to some extent, but I think they'll squeak through with a reduced margin.
Coimbatore: NDA (BJP)
Nilgiris: possibly NDA, but might swing to UPA. A Raja of 2G fame is contesting from here, and is expected to milk his acquittal. He's represented this seat in the past, so that's another point in his favour.
Tiruppur: NDA (AIADMK)
Erode: NDA (AIADMK)
Salem: NDA (AIADMK) - CM's area, AIADMK will go all out here.
Namakkal: NDA (AIADMK)
Summary: NDA: 7, UPA: 0, hard to tell: 1
Dharmapuri: NDA (PMK). Anbumani Ramadoss is contesting from here, so PMK will pull out all stops for a win here.
Krishnagiri: possibly UPA (Congress)
Kallakurichi: not sure, if I were to guess, would say UPA(DMK).
Tiruvannamalai: UPA (DMK)
Arani: UPA (Congress)
Vellore: likely NDA (AIADMK)
Villupuram: likely NDA (PMK), though caste equations could favour UPA (VCK) to some extent.
Summary: NDA: 3, UPA: 3, hard to tell: 1
Arakkonam: NDA (PMK)
Kanchipuram: NDA (AIADMK)
Sriperumbudur: likely UPA (DMK) as TR Baalu is well regarded as a doer. However, NDA (PMK) has an outside chance as this seat covers several parts of Chennai city with a high proportion of the middle class, where the Modi factor will come into play. But PMK is not regarded that well in urban areas, and will definitely work against the NDA here (I know a lot of people who support Modi here but will hesitate voting for PMK due to their casteist inclinations and might end up sitting out the election). AIADMK would have had a better chance in this seat.
Tiruvallur: NDA (AIADMK)
Chennai (N): UPA (DMK). Generally a DMK stronghold, and AIADMK has won this only once in the 2014 sweep. DMDK contesting for NDA here does not help their chances.
Chennai (C): UPA (DMK). Dayanidhi Maran is contesting from here against a relatively unknown PMK candidate. The former is known as a doer despite everything, and the same anti-PMK factor I mentioned for Sriperumbudur would work against the NDA. Low turnout for sure.
Chennai (S): NDA (AIADMK). This has a bunch of affluent areas, middle class areas, as well as the recently developed 'IT' areas, and Modi has a lot of support here. This is despite the meme generators being mostly from here. I'd say most salaried tax payers are concentrated here, so there is good support for Modi's policies. But I expect turnout to be the lowest in TN, despite which AIADMK will get through. TR Baalu used to win from here by default, but this seat flipped to AIADMK after he moved to Sriperumbudur (see above). Modi has good support here, and his supporters won't mind voting for AIADMK unlike PMK is other neighbouring constituencies. As long as they show up to vote.
Summary: NDA: 4, UPA: 3, hard to tell: 0
Puducherry (1): AINRC, a breakaway party from the Congress, and currently part of NDA is the incumbent. But generally being a Congress stronghold (they run the state govt), it's hard to tell.
--------------All TN + PY, nett: Total: 40, NDA: 24, UPA: 11, hard to tell: 5
If all hard-to-tell seats swing to the UPA, they get 16, NDA 24.
* Having discounted the Jaya and MK factor, one has to consider that this is still the first election where neither of them are around. How things will actually play out remains to be seen. There are smaller players like Seeman's NTK and Kamal's MNM, but I don't expect them to have much impact. Between the two, the latter might actually spring a surprise as a "just for a change" vote, but chances of that are low as this is a Parliamentary election. NTK's brand of politics has very few takers except on Facebook, so his gang will poll their usual 2-3% votes. In general, TN folks don't like neither-here-nor-there verdicts, so would decisively vote for one of the two main alliances.
Kakkaji wrote:Are the KA constituencies going to vote in Phase 2, in the strongholds of JDS? How is it shaping up there?
Not all. Mysore's incumbent is Pratap Simha of the BJP. He'll put up a fight. Mandya is interesting with an independent candidate (late actor Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha), against whom only JD(S) is contesting. BJP is not contesting this seat as a favour to Sumalatha and is tacitly supporting her. Another reason for that is that this seat is a prestige issue for JD(S), as HDK's son is contesting from here. Despite the Maddur-Mandya belt being a stronghold for JD(S), there is considerable nervousness in their camp as Sumalatha is well regarded and could actually win. The nervousness is betrayed by the fact that there are 2-3 other candidates named Sumalatha contesting in the same seat, which many regard as a ploy by the JD(S). Also, there is talk that Sumalatha could help the BJP in Mysore as well.
Here's my take for phase 2:
Udupi-Chikkamagalur: NDA (BJP)
Dakshina Kannada: NDA (BJP)
Hassan: UPA (Congress)
Tumkur: UPA (JD(S)) - HDD's seat
Mandya: hard to say, see above.
Mysore: NDA (BJP)
Chamarajanagar: UPA (Congress)
Bangalore (North, Central, South): NDA (BJP)
Kolar: UPA (Congress)
Chitradurga: likely UPA (Congress)
Total: 12, NDA: 6, UPA: 5, 1 too close to call
In phase 3, NDA (BJP) would be a sweep, except in pockets of Hyderabad-Karnataka like Gulbarga, Bellary and Raichur, which have traditionally been Congress strongholds. The coast, Bombay Karnataka and Malnad will surely vote BJP. I'd give the BJP 13/16 in this phase.All KA, nett: Total: 28, NDA: 19, UPA: 8, too close to call: 1
Some people say NDA in KA is 20+ for sure, and maybe even 22-23. Icing on the cake if that happens.
Kakkaji wrote:One person I would love to see lose is Mallikarjun Khadge. What are his chances this time?
Mallikarjun Kharge is contesting from his current seat at Gulbarga, and is going to polls in phase 3. It's a Congress stronghold afaik, so I expect he'd make it through.