Telangana ex-Guv among 9 picked by BJP for Tamil Nadu : The Tribune India

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Telangana ex-Guv among 9 picked by BJP for Tamil Nadu

Won no LS seat in state in 2019 | Party has so far chosen 276 candidates

Telangana ex-Guv among 9 picked by BJP for Tamil Nadu

Tamilisai Soundararajan rejoins BJP in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai in Chennai. ANI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, March 21

The BJP on Thursday declared the first set of nine candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu, fielding former Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan from South Chennai and state unit chief K Annamalai from Coimbatore.

Tough going for saffron party in The South

  • The saffron party, which has expanded its footprint across the country, has found the going tough in South. But making an impact key to 370-seat target
  • In Tamil Nadu, the party has won Lok Sabha seats only on three occasions: three seats in 1998, four in 1999 and one in 2014
  • T Soundararajan gets ticket from South Chennai and state unit chief K Annamalai from Coimbatore
  • Former MP Pon Radhakrishnan has been fielded from Kanyakumari and Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan from Nilgiris SC segment

Former MP and saffron veteran in the state Pon Radhakrishnan has been fielded from Kanyakumari and Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan from Nilgiris SC segment.

Murugan, 46, is a single-term Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh and has been fielded as part of the BJP plan to nominate top ministers who are Upper House members. Earlier, ministers Bhupender Yadav, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Mansukh Mandaviya, all Rajya Sabha members, have also been fielded in the Lok Sabha.

With today's declaration, the BJP has named 276 candidates for the elections. The BJP released its first list of 195 candidates on March 2 and second with 72 candidates on March 13. The maiden Tamil Nadu candidate list was released after the BJP's core committee meeting chaired by party chief JP Nadda.

For the BJP, making an electoral impact in Tamil Nadu is key to crossing the 370-seat target as it does not have any MP in Tamil Nadu currently. All 39 Lok Sabha seats of the state will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19. The saffron forces which have expanded their footprint across the country have found the going in the South rough. In Tamil Nadu, the party has won Lok Sabha seats only on three occasions: three seats in 1998, four in 1999 and one in 2014.

The saffron performance in the late 1990s was spurred by veteran LK Advani's Ram Mandir Rath Yatra that passed through the state in 1998. When it was passing through Coimbatore, a series of bomb blasts at 11 locations in the area led to several casualties, giving the BJP a Hindutva foothold in Coimbatore, where the party won in 1998 and 1999.

In the 2021 Assembly poll in Tamil Nadu, BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan had defeated actor Kamal Hassan in the Coimbatore South segment. Annamalai, a former IPS officer, will contest from Coimbatore where the ruling DMK has this year fielded a candidate after a gap of a decade. The DMK had been leaving Coimbatore for the Left allies so far. PM Narendra Modi has actively campaigned in Tamil Nadu this season with the party targeting double digit vote percentage and some seats.

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#BJP #Lok Sabha #Tamil Nadu #Telangana



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