It won or was leading in the Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Modakurichi and Coimbatore South Assembly constituencies
The BJP is set for a return to the Tamil Nadu Assembly after two decades.
At the time of going to print, it either won or was leading in Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Modakurichi and Coimbatore South. In 2001, it won four seats as part of the DMK-led NDA.
BJP national general secretary in charge of Tamil Nadu C.T. Ravi said the party was happy to have its MLAs back in the Assembly, though it expected to win more seats. With the trend in favour of the DMK, the BJP was happy with the number of seats it had won, he told The Hindu. “The AIADMK strongly supported us and we also supported it. Had the trend been neutral, we would have won more seats,” he said.
According to him, the people of Tamil Nadu were ready to accept the BJP and the party would emerge as a force to reckon with in future. “Right now, our leaders are all party leaders, not public leaders. Once they emerge as public leaders, we will win more seats,” he said.
The BJP’s biggest surprise came in Nagercoil, where M.R. Gandhi, a party veteran and national general council member, upset former Minister and three-term DMK MLA N. Suresh Rajan. In 2016, Mr. Gandhi lost to him.
In Tirunelveli, former AIADMK Minister Nainar Nagendran, who switched to the BJP after the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, was leading against A.L.S. Lakshmanan of the DMK. He had lost in the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Ramanathapuram.
While BJP Mahila Morcha leader Vanathi Srinivasan defeated Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan by a slender margin in Coimbatore South, C. Saraswathi surprised many by leading former DMK Minister Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan in Modakkurichi.
However, BJP State president L. Murugan lost by a slender margin in a tight contest in Dharapuram. Party vice-president and former IPS officer K. Annamalai was trailing R. Elango of the DMK at Aravakurichi.
In the high-profile contest at Thousand Lights, actor Kushboo, who faced the election for the first time, lost by over 30,000 votes to N. Ezhilan of the DMK.