In the run up to the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, it took many days of negotiation for the Congress and DMK to finalise their seat sharing arrangement. As part of the alliance, it was finally decided that Congress would contest from 25 constituency seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat. Now, by winning 18 seats in the elections and the Lok Sabha seat, the party could be a major force in the formation of the Tamil Nadu government led by DMK chief MK Stalin.
This time the Congress received 4.29% of the total vote share in the state. And changed the trend from 2016, when Congress managed to win only eight seats of the 41 contested seats in alliance with DMK.
The Congress won in Ponneri, Sriperumbudur, Sholingur, Erode (East), Udhagamandalam, Vriddhachalam, Aranthangi, Karaikudi, Sivakasi, Tiruvadanai, Srivaikuntam, Nanguneri, Killiyoor, Tenkasi, Colachel, Velachery, Mayiladuthurai and Vilavancode constituencies.
The party fielded several important faces and relatives of Congress officer-bearers, many of whom won. This including Aranthangi candidate ST Ramachandran, who is the son of MP Su Thirunavukkarasar; Erode (East) candidate Thirumurugan Evera, who is the son of former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan; and Srivaikuntam candidate Urvasi S Amirtharaj, who is the son of late Congress MLA Selvaraj.
The granddaughter of Kavimani Desigavinayagam Pillai, Vijayadharani was fielded from Vilavancode and the two-time MLA secured a hat trick win from the constituency. Vijayadharani was the only woman candidate from the Congress in Tamil Nadu and she recieved 52.12% of the votes in her constituency, beating BJPâ€™s Jayaseelan R.
Similarly, Congress fielded Vijay Vasanth in the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after his father MP Vasanthakumar succumbed to COVID-19. The first-time contestant won the seat, beating former MP and Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan.
However, Congress party contestants lost to AIADMK opponents in Uthangarai, Kallakurichi, Omalur, Udumalaipettai, Melur and Srivilliputhur constituencies. The Congress contestant Mayura Jayakumar lost to BJP in a tough three-way battle in Coimbatore (South) constituency. He lost to Vanathi Srinivasan and was pushed to third place after MNMâ€™s Kamal Haasan.