Chennai: BJP Fields Prominent Leaders for Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Polls

Chennai: BJP Fields Prominent Leaders for Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Polls

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday fielded some of its prominent leaders, including State president K. Annamalai, Union Minister of State L. Murugan and former Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. The party released its first list of nine candidates. Overall, the BJP, which is heading an alliance, will enter the fray in 20 seats in the State.

Mr. Annamalai, who undertook the ‘En Mann En Makkal’ yatra stretched over several months, will enter the fray from Coimbatore, a seat where the BJP has significant presence. He will take on the DMK’s Ganapathy P. Rajkumar and the AIADMK’s Singai G. Ramachandran, apart from the Naam Tamilar Katchi candidate. Initially, Mr. Annamalai was reluctant to contest in the parliamentary elections and had set his eyes on campaigning across Tamil Nadu. However, the party chose to field him in Coimbatore after also having considered him for the Karur seat. He had unsuccessfully contested in the 2021 Assembly elections from Aravakurichi in Karur district.

Union Minister of State L. Murugan

Union Minister of State L. Murugan
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Mr. Murugan’s nomination from the Nilgiris (SC) seat, where he will take on the DMK’s former Union Minister A. Raja, came as a surprise as very recently he was renominated to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.

Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, who recently resigned from her gubernatorial assignments from Telangana and Puducherry, and rejoined the BJP, will face the electoral battle from Chennai South constituency. She would be pitted against the DMK sitting MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian and the AIADMK’s former MP J. Jayavardhan.

Another prominent candidate is the party’s floor leader in the Assembly and Tirunelveli MLA, Nainar Nagendran. He has been fielded from Tirunelveli. It was not immediately known if he would resign from the Assembly before contesting in the Lok Sabha poll. Mr. Nagendran had previously served as Minister in the Jayalalithaa Cabinet.

The party also cleared the way for former Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan to contest from Kanniyakumari seat. Earlier, it was speculated that this seat would be given to former Congress MLA from Vilavancode S. Vijayadharani, who recently joined the BJP.

The other BJP candidates, include Vinoj P. Selvam from Chennai Central and C. Narasimhan from Krishnagiri. Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi founder T.R. Parivendhar will enter the fray from his sitting seat, Perambalur, but this time on a BJP ticket. In 2014, as a BJP candidate, he had finished third in the same seat but in 2019 he tasted success as a DMK nominee.

New Justice Party founder A.C. Shanmugham has been given the ticket to contest from Vellore Lok Sabha seat on the ‘lotus’ symbol. He unsuccessfully contested the 2014 elections as a BJP candidate and the 2019 elections as an AIADMK candidate.

Earlier, Mr. Annamalai told the journalists that his party had completed seat-sharing arrangements with its alliance partners in Tamil Nadu for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He said the BJP will contest from 20 seats and some of its regional alliance partners will contest in the ‘Lotus’ symbol from four seats. The party also allotted three seats to G.K. Vasan’s Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar).

The BJP had already allotted 10 seats to the Pattali Makkal Katchi and two seats to T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. Mr. Annamalai said the seat-sharing accord for all the constituencies in the State had concluded smoothly. “All the NDA parties have come together on a common platform for change and to give a larger mandate to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,”

The deposed AIADMK coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, who has been vocally supporting the BJP for a while and shared dais with Mr. Modi in Salem, was not allotted any seat.

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