In 2021, the BJP contested just 20 seats and managed to get 2.6% vote share in contrast with the 2.84% in 2016, when it had contested in 188 seats.

BJP leaders MR Gandhi, Nainar Nagendran, Vanathi and C Saraswathi
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Monday, May 03, 2021 - 10:19

In a second, the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP will be sending four representatives to the state's Legislative Assembly. In the Assembly polls that just concluded in Tamil Nadu, BJP pulled off a mixed bag. While a few big leaders lost their respective battles, the state unit pulled off a victory in four seats -- Modakurichi, Nagercoil, Tirunelveli and Coimbatore south. BJP’s Dr C Saraswathi, MR Gandhi, Nainar Nagendran and Vanathi Srinivasan scripted victories, while leaders like H Raja, L Murugan, K Annamalai and Khushboo Sundar lost the polls. However, though the BJP has done better when it comes to the number of seats, the vote share the party won does not paint an encouraging picture for the BJP.

According to the data from the ECI, the BJP’s vote share in the Assembly polls of 2021 is 2.6%, a marginal decrease when compared with its vote share in 2016. In 2016, the party was in alliance with the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) in 2016 and had contested 188 seats. In the 2016 elections, the BJP had a vote share of 2.84% in Tamil Nadu. This was even lesser than the vote share grabbed by the Congress (6.42%). However, in drastic contrast to 2016, the party had contested only 20 seats this time and managed to garner a vote share of 2.6% in those. However, the change in equation this time is that the party had allied itself with AIADMK, which was seeking a third consecutive shot at the government. And despite being a part of the AIADMK's coalition, the vote share has not gone up significantly. 

The big guns of the party in Tamil Nadu, including the State President L Murugan (Dharapuram), former National Secretary of the party H Raja (Karaikudi), National Women’s Wing President Vanathi Srinivasan (Coimbatore South), State Vice President K Annamalai (Aravakurichi), State Vice President Nainar Nagendran (Tirunelveli), Khushboo Sundar (Thousand Lights) were all given tickets by the party in 2021. 

In Modakurichi, Dr C Saraswathi contested against DMK’s Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan and managed to grab 77,653 votes. Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan managed to get 76,409 votes thus losing out on a narrow margin of 1,244 votes. MR Gandhi, in Nagercoil, secured 68,336 votes and defeated DMK’s N Suresh Rajan by 9,857 votes. In Tirunelveli, Nainar Nagendran scripted a thumping victory over his rival ALS Lakshmanan of the DMK with a margin of 23,402 votes. BJP’s Women’s Wing President Vanathi Srinivasan won Coimbatore South constituency with a wafer-thin margin of 1,540 votes. 

When it comes to losses, L Murugan (Dharapuram) lost out a toughly fought battle to DMK’s N Kayalvizhi by 812 votes. However, leaders like H Raja (Karaikudi), Khushboo Sundar (Thousand Lights) and K Annamalai (Aravakurichi) lost by bigger margins in their respective constituencies to Congress and DMK respectively. H Raja lost by a margin of almost 20,000 votes while Annamalai lost by a margin of 24,300 votes. Khushboo lost to DMK’s Dr Ezhilan by 32,200 votes.  

Ahead of the elections in the state in 2021, several senior leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had descended into Tamil Nadu to campaign for the polls and the party’s candidates. Union Minister Smriti Irani, BJP Chief JP Nadda, Bengaluru South MP and BJP’s Youth Wing Chief Tejaswi Surya are other noteworthy names from the party who visited Tamil Nadu seeking votes for BJP’s candidates. 

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