SIVAGANGA: Though a senior member of the party’s Tamil Nadu unit, BJP leader H Raja has once failed to make his mark. This time, he was defeated by a newcomer, INC candidate S Mangudi, in Karaikudi Assembly constituency. H Raja contested with 12 contestants, including INC’s Mangudi, NTK’s N Durai Manickam, AMMK’s Dherpoki V Pandi. While Mangudi won the seat by securing 75,954 votes, H Raja became the runners-up by securing 54,365 votes. With this victory, INC retained its seat, which was won by K R Ramasamy in the 2016 Assembly election.
According to the cadre of the alliance party, BJP had given him many opportunities but he was successful only once. He was given the ticket three times each for Assembly and Parliamentary elections. He was the Sivaganga MP candidate in 2019, 2014, 1993; he lost all the three times. He lost both in 2016 and 2006 Assembly elections from Alandur and Thyagaraya Nagar constituencies. His solo election victory was from Karaikudi Assembly constituency in 2001, they said.
According to them, though Raja was the face of the party in the constituency and played a major role in preparing the party's election manifesto, neither his own constituency manifesto nor the party manifesto impressed the people. The party's leaders from the central also did not canvass votes for him, except for Prime Minister Modi, who attended a public meeting in Madurai. Besides, he stirred controversies with his statements many a time previously. All these factors might have gone against him, they opined.
While the other BJP candidates like Dr C Saraswathi, MR Gandhi, Nainar Nagendran and Vanathi Srinivasan emerged as winners, H Raja is one of those unsuccessful candidates that the party pinned hopes on, along with Annamalai, L Murugan and Khushboo Sundar.