The completion of the first phase of elections to 91 Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies has marked the beginning of the largest democratic exercise of the world. The second phase of elections to 97 LS constituencies will be held on April 18 across 12 states and a Union Territory. Among these states, Tamil Nadu (TN) stands out for many reasons.
TN is the fifth largest state in terms of LS constituencies having 39 seats. Along with the LS elections, the state will also witness bye-polls to 18 assembly constituencies, which fell vacant after the disqualification of rebel AIADMK MLAs. The state, which has pushed national parties to the corner since five decades, is a bastion of regional politics centralised towards Dravidianism and Tamil pride. The strong presence of regional parties and their potential to grab maximum number of seats makes it a politically significant state. Political parties in TN have played a crucial role in forming governments at the Centre since 1990s. It is only in 2014 that no Tamil party became a part of the national government. But it is predicted that TN parties will have a significant role to play after the 2019 elections.
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