Feb 25, 2014 at 12:30pm IST

Lok Sabha elections: Alliances in South India

New Delhi: Every five years political alliances change in India. Friends turn foes and foes turn friends. Old alliance break and new alliance are forged. Sometimes this drama continues till the last date.

Since 1989, India has been a country run by different coalitions. The last single party government was Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government between 1984-89. PV Narasimha Rao-led Congress government was a minority government, backed by some smaller parties.

The rise of regional parties has led to many alliances being formed. Some before the elections, some after the elections. In 1989, the anti-Congress alliance was led by Janata Dal. It had both the BJP and communists.

Lok Sabha elections: Alliances in South India

While Kerala and Karnataka may see no change in alliance, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu may witness coming together of different parties.

The BJP-led NDA was born in 1998. The Congress-led UPA was born in 2004 after its victory. The Third Front comes to life during every Lok Sabha election and disintegrates immediately after that.

But, it is a fact that coalition politics has become a reality of Indian electoral system.

Here's a look at alliances' scenario in the four southern states.


Kerala is one state where the political alliances have always been stable. The ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) is led by the Congress and the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) is led by the CPM. The BJP is a marginal player, which has not been able to win even a single seat in the state in both Assembly and Lok Sabha.

United Democratic Front (UDF)

Indian National Congress

Indian Union Muslim League

Kerala Congress (Mani)

Kerala Congress (Balakrishna Pillai)

Kerala Congress (Jacob)

Kerala Congress (Secular)

Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithy

Communist Marxist Party

Revolutionary Socialist Party (Baby John)

Janata Dal (Secular) Veerendra Kuma

Left Democratic Front (LDF)

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Communist Party of India

Revolutionary Socialist Party

Kerala Congress (Joseph)

Janata Dal (Secular)

Indian Congress (Socialist)

Kerala Congress (Thomas)

Nationalist Congress Party

Indian National League - Supported LDF -Won 1 Seat

Possible Alliance - 2014 Lok Sabha

No change expected

Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, political alliances are always shaky. Except the two main political parties AIADMK and DMK, all other parties can go with anybody and they change their partners during the Lok Sabha and the Assembly polls.

This time the AIADMK has already tied up with the CPM and CPI in the state. The DMK is trying to get actor Vijaykanth's DMDK on its side. It has already said a firm 'no' to its partner Congress. Congress looks the most isolated party in the state.

The smaller Tamil parties like Vaiko-led MDMK, Dr Ramdoss-led PMK and VCK are also planning to switch sides this time. The BJP is wooing DMDK. If the Congress fails to persuade to the DMK, it will have to face the elections on its own. Under the current circumstances the Congress may not be able to win even 1-2 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, if it goes solo.

Possible alliance - 2014 Lok Sabha

AIADMK, CPM, CPI (Vaiko's MDMK may go with Jayalalithaa again)

DMK, DMDK (PMK and VCK may go with the DMK)

Congress (Isolated)

BJP (trying to woo DMDK)

Andhra Pradesh

The undivided AP never had a coalition rule. Since 1983, it has been a Congress vs TDP fight. In 1999, the TDP had an alliance with the BJP and swept the polls. In 2004, the Congress had an alliance with the TRS and swept the polls. In 2009, all opposition parties (TDP, TRS and Left) had a grand alliance called 'Mahakutami' and lost miserably to the YSR-led Congress, which swept the polls.

The emergence of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSRCP and the creation of Telangana has changed AP's political landscape. The YSRCP has already tied up with the CPM and CPI. The TDP is still thinking over its possible alliance with the BJP.

After the creation of Telangana, the TRS and the Congress are coming together in Telangana. There is also a talk of former CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who quit in protest against Telangana, launching his own party. For the first time both AP and Telangana are going to see so many parties in the fray.

Possible alliances - 2014 Lok Sabha



TRS, Congress in Telangana

Former CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy may float a party of his own


The UT of Puducherry has just one Lok Sabha seat currently held by the Congress. The CM N Rangasamy-led Rangasamy Congress may win the seat this time. The Congress, DMK, AIADMK etc may contest separately.


Karnataka has been a three party state since 1994. All three major political parties (Congress, BJP and JDS) have been in power in the last 20 years. While the Congress has a strong presence all over the state, the BJP has a strong presence in most parts except a few districts in Old Mysore region. The JDS is a sub-regional party, which has a strong presence in some districts of Old Mysore region.

The Left and other parties have no presence in the electoral politics of the state. Karnataka is going to witness a triangular fight in some regions of the state.

Possible alliances - 2014 Lok Sabha

Triangular fight. No alliance.