I am in a good position to answer this question. I have lived in Delhi for 8 years during my childhood and most of my relatives are settled in Delhi and Mumbai. I like the BJP, mainly due to Modi and Parrikar.
The main drawbacks for the BJP in Tamil Nadu are:
- Absence of a popular Tamil speaking BJP leader. A good Tamil speaking leader of the caliber of Modi or Parrikar is required.
- Most of the BJP leaders speak only in Hindi at press conferences and only about 20% of people in TN can understand Hindi well.
- TN is already prosperous by Indian standards. I think only Maharashtra and NCR are ahead of Tamil Nadu in terms of overall development. This can be attributed to the importance given to academics by parents even from the poorer strata of society more than anything else. People don’t feel that a change is required since things are already pretty good.
- Unlike Northern India that was constantly under the attack of invaders from Afghanistan prior to the British rule, TN historically had much fewer religious conflicts. Polarization of voters is very less since communal harmony in TN is very good when compared to Delhi and Mumbai. There are many staunch Hindus in TN as well but consider religion and politics as separate entities.
I feel that BJP can become significant in TN only if a good Tamil speaking leader of the caliber Modi or Parrikar emerges.