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PM Modi Went to 20 Seats in Kerala & Tamil Nadu, NDA Won Just 1

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

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From January till April this year, Narendra Modi visited as many as 20 of the total 59 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Kerala – the two states in the south to have traditionally rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

During his multiple visits to these constituencies for official and non-official purposes, the prime minister took out roadshows and rallies, conducted public meetings, and made personal and official visits to temples, according to PM Modi's official website.

But the only seat the party (and the NDA) won in these two states is Kerala's Thrissur, where the prime minister visited not once, not twice, but thrice this year.

NDA candidate Suresh Gopi opened the party's account in the state by winning Thrissur by a margin of 75,000 votes.

Even as Modi's visits did not help clinch more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference. While in Kerala, the BJP improved its overall vote share from 15.64 percent in 2019 to 16.68 percent in 2024, in Tamil Nadu, it more than tripled its vote share from 3.66 percent to 11.24 percent.

The Quint takes a deeper look at the 20 constituencies the PM visited to understand how significant they were to the NDA.

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Kerala: NDA Wins One Seat, Comes Third in Five 

Out of the seven seats that PM Modi visited between January and April 2024, the BJP-led NDA – apart from winning one – finished second in one. It came third in the rest of the seats. Here's a breakdown:

1. Thrissur: This is the only constituency in Kerala where PM Modi visited three times, proving how focused the NDA's campaign was in this seat, which is known as the cultural capital of Kerala with significant Hindu and Christian populations.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.
While his first visit was to address a BJP-organised women's meeting in January, the second visit was to the Guruvayoor temple to attend the wedding of Gopi's daughter.

He then visited Thrissur yet again in April to campaign for Gopi. Apart from winning the seat, Gopi managed to increase the party's vote share in the seat from 28.19 percent in 2019 to 37.8 percent in 2024. The margin of increase is around 9.6 percentage points.

2. Thiruvananthapuram: This seat has always been on the BJP's radar as the party had won its first Assembly segment in Kerala, Nemom, from this region. One of the closely watched contests, this constituency saw a neck-and-neck fight between the BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar and three-time Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. Though Tharoor won the seat for the fourth time by a margin of 16,000 votes, the BJP improved its vote share by 4.22 percentage points.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

3. Ernakulam: The BJP finished third in this central Kerala constituency but improved its vote share in this constituency by a margin of 1.63 percentage points. A Congress bastion, Ernakulam district neighbours the Thrissur district. Perhaps, the party was attempting to make gains through Modi's image in this seat, where the metro city of Cochin is located in.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

4. Pathanamthitta: This constituency has been of interest to the BJP since it witnessed the Sabarimala temple entry protests in 2018. While the party could not win the seat as a fallout of the protests in the 2019 elections, it increased its vote share by 13 percentage points after it fielded BJP state chief K Surendran. With no unifying social movement to capitalise on this time, the party reduced its vote share by 3.48 percentage points. The BJP had fielded veteran Congress leader AK Antony's son Anil Antony, who recently joined the BJP from Congress, this Lok Sabha elections.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

4. Palakkad: In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP came third but improved its vote share by 6 percentage points. Banking on this spike, the party fielded 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan from the Palakkad Assembly constituency in the 2021 state elections. He came second.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP finished third in the race yet again, but improved its vote share by 2.87 percentage points.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

5. Alathur: Here too, the BJP's TN Sarasu finished third in the race, but improved the party's vote share by nearly 11 percentage points, making it one of the highest spikes recorded in Kerala.

Alathur saw a tough fight between sitting Congress MP Ramya Haridas and CPI(M)'s K Radhakrishnan. Radhakrishnan won the seat, making it the sole constituency bagged by the CPI(M) in the state.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

7. Attingal: Former Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan, who was the BJP's candidate, finished third in the race and improved the party's vote share by 6.67 percentage points.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

Tamil Nadu: NDA Wins No Seats, Comes Third in 4 Seats

PM Modi made at least 9-10 trips between January and April 2024. Despite state chief K Annamalai heading the BJP-led NDA alliance, it drew a blank.

But, in a first, it dramatically improved its vote share to around 11 percent, and came second in 12 out of 39 seats. In total, the NDA got a considerable vote share of 18.27 percent. However, the increase in the BJP's vote share was also partly because it was contesting more seats that 2019, when it was a junior partner in the AIADMK-led alliance.

Out of the 13 seats that PM Modi visited between January and April 2024, the BJP-led NDA finished second in eight constituencies. Most of PM Modi's visits were restricted to South and West parts of Tamil Nadu, two regions which the BJP has been heavily focussing on.

In some of these constituencies, it was the AIADMK-BJP alliance that contested in 2019. Hence, the margin of vote share is between the AIADMK-led alliance in 2019 and the BJP-led alliance in 2024. This shows that in many places, there has been a vote split between the AIADMK and the BJP.

1. Coimbatore: A case in point is the Coimbatore Lok Sabha seat, where Annamalai got over 4.5 lakh votes, and finished second by a margin of 1.8 lakh votes. The BJP's vote share increased by only 1.32 percentage points as compared to 2019.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

PM Modi visited five out of 10 constituencies in Southern Tamil Nadu. Incidentally, the NDA's best performance was recorded in this part of the state, where it recorded an average vote share of nearly 22.67 percent.

This is probably because this region has a significant presence of the RSS as compared to other regions.

2. Kanniyakumari: It was this district that provided an opening for the BJP in the Lok Sabha 1996. In this traditional stronghold, former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan got 35.6 percent votes, the highest by an NDA candidate in the state. The vote share, however, is a 4.3 percentage points decrease from what was recorded in the 2021 by-elections.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

3. Ramanathapuram: Known for its temples, PM Modi visited this constituency ahead of the January 2022 Ram Mandir inauguration. Rameshwaram is also an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus, and the BJP hoped to capitalise on this. In addition, 15 years ago, the BJP had waged battle against the Sethusamudram project to create a shipping route between India and Sri Lanka, whose one end would have touched Ramanathapuram, claiming it would destroy the bridge Lord Ram’s army made as per the Ramayana.

This time, former deputy CM O Paneerselvam, an independent backed by BJP, finished second and polled over 30 percent of the votes. Despite raking up the Katchatheevu issue, it did not impact the NDA's performance here.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

4. Madurai: Surprisingly in Madurai, the BJP pushed the AIADMK to third by getting 22.38 percent votes. Its vote share improved by nearly 8 percentage points.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

5. Thoothukudi: The NDA's performance was poor in Thoothukudi. In Kanimozhi's stronghold, the BJP ally TMC finished third. In 2019, the constituency witnessed an intense battle between Kanimozhi and the BJP's Dr Tamilisai Soundarajan, with the latter finishing second with a vote share of 21.77 percent. This time, the vote share of the BJP-led alliance went down to 12.51 percent.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

6. Tiruchirapalli: Here, the BJP's ally Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) finished fourth and registered a vote share of only 9.54 percent. The NDA did not contest from here in 2019.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

7. Tirunelveli: Here, the BJP's Nainar Nagendran finished second with a vote share of 31.54 percent. In 2019, its then alliance partner AIADMK contested and received a vote share of 32.66 percent. The margin of votes decreased by 1.12 percentage points. This has been another area on the BJP's list due to its mix of prominent castes such as OBC Nadars and Thevars, a substantial presence of SCs/STs.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

In Chennai, the NDA performed considerably well compared to other regions by securing an average of 20.72% of votes.

8. Chennai South: This seat, a DMK bastion, witnessed an intense battle between the DMK's Thamizachi Thangapandian and the BJP's Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, with the latter finishing second with a vote share of 26.44 percent. In 2019, the AIADMK candidate Jayavardhan Jayakumar recorded a share of 26.54 percent. This population has a significant population of upper-caste Brahmins.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

9. Kancheepuram: Here, the BJP ally PMK finished fifth in the race. The vote margin decreased to 19.15 percent.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

The NDA’s performance was considerable in a few seats in Western Tamil Nadu. In Western Tamil Nadu, the average vote share of the NDA was nearly 18%. This area is also considered to be an AIADMK bastion.

10. Salem: An AIADMK bastion, this constituency pushed the BJP ally PMK to the third place with a vote share of 9.74%. In 2019, the AIADMK secured 36.76%. This is a clear indication of a lack of vote transfer among the alliance partners.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

11. Vellore: Here, the BJP finished second in the race, but decreased its vote share by 15.17%. The AIADMK-led alliance candidate secured 46.42% in 2019.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.
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12. Nilgiris: This constituency witnessed a battle between sitting MP A Raja and MoS L Murugan, with the latter finishing second with a vote share of 22.83 percent. This is a decrease of vote share by around 11 percentage points from 2019.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

13. Tiruppur: The BJP was pushed to third place here and polled only around 16.22 percent of the votes. Close to Coimbatore, this constituency has an RSS presence as well.

Even as Modi's visits did not help get more seats, the NDA's vote share in Kerala and Tamil Nadu saw a difference.

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