As DMK's MK Stalin is inching closer to form the next government in the state with a resounding majority in the 234-member house, the Tamil Nadu state assembly will be opening its door for the BJP for the first time in twenty years. The Central ruling party has got a slight edge in the recently-held assembly polls with the back of the ADMK alliance and though it is still far away to enjoy a decent stronghold in the state, the BJP is set to write a new chapter in Tamil Nadu after two decades.
BJP has contested the Tamil Nadu assembly polls in the ADMK alliance and fielded its candidates in 20 constituencies across the state. The BJP has deployed notable faces including Tamil Nadu BJP President L Murugan, Vice-President Annamalai, BJP's National Women wing president Vanathi Srinivasan, actor-turned-politician Kushboo Sundar, and former National Secretary H Raja. The BJP had held incessant campaigns and rallies in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several national BJP leaders had campaigned for the BJP candidates.
There were hectic deliberations between the BJP and ADMK over the seat-sharing and fought a tough battle to enter the assembly. The vote counting had begun on Sunday and it was predicted that the BJP will also reserve a berth in the assembly. The initial trend of counting has shown that Tamil Nadu BJP President L Murugan, who contested in the Dharapuram constituency, has held a lead over the DMK candidate while BJP's Vanathi Srinivasan was trailing in the Coimbatore South constituency.
There was a close fight between Vanathi Srinivasan and Kamal Haasan who also contested in the Coimbatore South. Vanathi was in third place in Coimbatore South, falling behind Kamal Haasan and Congress's Mayura Jayakumar. It was predicted that Kamal Haasan will win the Coimbatore South in a tiny margin and enter the assembly for the first time. However, the scenes were changed in the evening hours as Vanathi Srinivasan accelerated in the race and went ahead of Kamal Haasan and Mayura Jayakumar.
Finally, Kamal Haasan has faced a huge setback as BJP's Vanathi Srinivasan has defeated the actor-turned-politician. Vanathi Srinivasan has won Coimbatore South by a razor-thin margin of over 1500 votes. Kamal Haasan finished second while Congress's Mayura Jayakumar has come third. It was indeed a tight-fought battle and a potential breakthrough for Kamal Haasan as he edged closer to the victory in his very first election.
With the victory, Vanathi Srinivasan is all set to enter the Tamil Nadu assembly for the first time. But, she wasn't the only BJP candidate to enter the assembly as the Central ruling party has totally won four seats in Tamil Nadu. Nainar Nagendran, who was with ADMK during Jayalalithaa's leadership, has contested in the Tirunelveli constituency from the BJP ticket, and after a fierce race with the DMK's Lakshmanan, Nagendran has won the constituency in the margin of over 20,000 votes.
BJP candidate in Nagercoil MR Gandhi was leading since the initial trend and finally won the battle by defeating DMK's Suresh Rajan in the margin of over 10,000 votes. BJP has seeded another victory in the Kongu belt after Coimbatore South as Central ruling party's candidate Saraswathi has won the Modakkurichi constituency by defeating much-expected DMK's Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan in the margin of fewer than 1000 votes.
By securing four wins out of 20 seats, the BJP had significantly shown that it has done slightly better than the 2016 assembly polls as the voters in Tamil Nadu have started endorsing the party. With winning four seats, BJP is all set to enter the Tamil Nadu assembly for the first time in twenty years. Lastly, the saffron camp had enjoyed representations in the assembly in the 2001 elections. In the 2001 assembly polls, the BJP has contested in the DMK alliance and won four seats - Karaikudi (H Raja), Mayiladuthurai (Jaga Veerapandian), Mylapore (KN Lakshmanan), and Thalli (KV Murali Dharan). They had contested in 21 seats and won four seats.
Now, they had contested in 20 seats and won four seats in the ADMK alliance. While four BJP candidates had won, the rest of the candidates of the party had lost. Tamil Nadu BJP President L Murugan (Dharapuram), Vice-President Annamalai (Aravakurichi), Kushboo Sundar (Thousand Lights), and H Raja (Karaikudi) had conceded the defeat to the candidates of the DMK alliance. While BJP sends four representatives to the Tamil Nadu assembly, the Central ruling party has faced a big blow in the by-poll in the Kanyakumari parliamentary constituency.
The Lok Sabha by-poll was held along with the state assembly polls after Kanyakumari Congress MP Vasanthakumar had passed away last year due to the COVID-19 viral infection. The Election Commission had announced the by-poll for the constituency and BJP has fielded former MP Pon Radhakrishnan as its candidate while Congress has fielded Vasanthakumar's son and actor Vijay Vasanth as its candidate. After the hard-fought battle, the anti-ADMK and BJP wave had collapsed Pon Radhakrishnan's re-entry into the Lok Sabha as Vijay Vasanth has won the by-poll in a sounding majority and will be entering the Lok Sabha for the first time. According to the data of the Election Commission, Vijay Vasanth has secured a 52.50% vote share in the by-poll while Pon Radhakrishnan ended up getting 39.92 per cent.