CHENNAI: The BJP on Sunday released its first list of 17 candidates in Tamil Nadu for the Assembly elections.
The following are candidates and their constituencies:
- BJP State president L Murugan (Dharapuram)
- Vanathi Srinivasan (Coimbatore South)
- H Raja (Karaikudi)
- K Annamalai (Aravakurichi)
- Khushbu Sundar (Thousand Lights)
- Gandhi (Nagercoil)
BJP national general secretary Arun Singh has announced the names of party candidates at a press conference in New Delhi. He also announced the number of seats being allocated to the parties in NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu led by the AIADMK.
Singh expressed confidence that the NDA would form the government in Tamil Nadu with a full majority.
In Dharapuram, Murugan has been pitted against DMK candidate Kayalvizhi Selvaraj while BJP national women’s wing chairperson Vanathi Srinivasan will take on MNM president Kamal Haasan and Mayura Jayakumar of Congress party in Coimbatore South constituency.
State vice president K Annamalai is contesting against DMK candidate Monjanur R Elango in Aravakurichi constituency. Senior BJP leader H Raja will face S Mangudi of Congress party in Karaikudi constituency. Actor Khushbu Sundar is pitted against DMK candidate Dr N Ezhilan in the Thousandlights constituency in Chennai.
The rest of the candidates and their constituencies are as follows:
- G Pandurangan (Virudhunagar)
- D Kuppuram (Ramanathapuram)
- P Ramesh (Colachel)
- S Thanigaivel (Tiruvannamalai)
- VAT Kalivarathan (Tirukkovilur)
- Dr CK Saraswathi (Modakurichi)
- D Periyasamy (Tittakudi)
- Poondi S Venkatesan (Tiruvaiyaru)
The DMK MLA from Thirupparankundram constituency, P Saravanan who joined the BJP at 12 noon on Sunday has been given a party ticket to contest from Madurai North where he will take on DMK candidate G Thalapathi.
When asked how come the BJP offered a party ticket to Saravanan who joined the party just a few hours ago, a smiling Murugan said, “Indeed, Saravanan has joined the BJP online on Saturday itself. On Sunday, he formally joined the party in Chennai. Besides, his popularity in the constituency, his services to the people were taken into consideration while giving him a party ticket.
In the case of Khushbu Sundar, she was the national spokesperson of the Congress and was a popular actor and has been in politics for many years. So, she has been given a party ticket. Murugan said in Thousand Lights constituency, the sitting MLA who switched from the DMK to BJP last year opted not to contest this time.
The party has recognised long-time office bearers of the BJP too. In Nagercoil, MR Gandhi who has been involved in social service since his days in Jan Sangh has been given a seat.
Answering queries of reporters at the BJP headquarters here, Murugan said the party's election manifesto would be released on March 21, further adding that he would be filing his nomination papers on March 18.
BJP State vice-president Nainar Nagenthran who filed his nomination for Tirunelveli constituency on Friday even before the party released the list, has been allocated the same constituency.