After 2001, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) is set to enter the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in 2021 following its victory in four assembly constituencies. The BJP in Tamil Nadu led by the State President L Murugan contested in 20 constituencies in alliance with the AIADMK.
Velayudham from Padmanabhapuram constituency in the Kanyakumari district became the first BJP MLA from Tamil Nadu in 1996. After that BJP fought the ground in alliance with M Karunanidhi led DMK in 2001. Jaga Veerapandian from Mayiladuthurai, H Raja from Karaikudi, K V Muralidharan from Dhali constituencies emerged as MLAs on behalf of BJP.
Following that, BJP could not find its place in TN Assembly in the subsequent elections including 2006, 2011 and 2016. But this time, in 2021, M R Gandhi from Nagercoil, Vanathi Srinivasan from Coimbatore South, Nainar Nagendhran from Tirunelveli and C K Saraswathi from Modakurichi have recorded their victories on behalf of BJP, marking the party’s historic entry into the Assembly after two decades.
Out of these four people, all the three except Nainar Nagendran are first-time MLAs. In Modakurichi, Dr C Saraswathi contested against DMK’s Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan and won by a narrow margin of 1,244 votes. BJP’s Women’s Wing President Vanathi Srinivasan won the Coimbatore South constituency with a slim margin of 1,540 votes.
MR Gandhi defeated DMK’s N Suresh Rajan by 9,857 votes in Nagercoil. In Tirunelveli, Nainar Nagendran swept over ALS Lakshmanan of the DMK with a significant margin of 23,402 votes. Certain key figures of BJP who had invoked huge expectations have lost their battles. This includes the party’s State President L Murugan who contested in the Dharapuram constituency.
He has lost to DMK candidate Kayalvizhi Selvaraj by a margin of 812 votes. Similarly, the party’s state Vice-President K Annamalai has also faced a defeat against the DMK candidate Elango in the Aravakurichi constituency. Annamalai lost by a margin of 24,300 votes and Khushboo Sundar lost to DMK’s Dr Ezhilan by 32,200 votes. Likewise, former National Secretary H Raja has lost by a margin of almost 20,000 to his opponent S Mangudi of Congress.