Actor-turned-politician Raadhika Sarathkumar in BJP’s fresh list of 14 Lok Sabha candidates for Tamil Nadu

A Namassivayam is the BJP candidate from Puducherry while Raadhika Sarathkumar will contest from Virudhunagar constituency.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 22, 2024 | 2:35 PMUpdatedMar 22, 2024 | 2:37 PM

Sarath Kumar

The central election committee of the BJP released its fourth list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Friday, 22 March. The list declared nominees for 14 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone constituency in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The party announced the candidature of Tamil actor-turned-politician Raadhika Sarathkumar from the Virudhunagar constituency.

On 12 March, her husband and Tamil actor R Sarath Kumar merged his Akila Indiya Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) with the BJP.

Merging his party, he had said: “Modi would helm the nation further, towards fostering unity and nurture economic growth”.

Further, Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) chief B John Pandian is also featured in the list, contesting from Tenkasi under the BJP banner.

A Namassivayam is the BJP candidate from Puducherry.

Also Read: Tamil actor Sarath Kumar merges his party AISMK with BJP

The candidates

  • Tiruvallur (SC): Pon V Balaganapathy
  • Chennai North: RC Paul Kanagaraj
  • Tiruvannamalai: A Ashwathaman
  • Namakkal: Dr KP Ramalingam
  • Tiruppur: AP Muruganandam
  • Pollachi: K Vasantharajan
  • Karur: VV Senthilnathan
  • Chidambaram (SC): P Karthiyayini
  • Nagapattinam (SC): SGM Ramesh
  • Thanjavur: M Muruganandam
  • Sivaganga: Dr Devanathan Yadav
  • Madurai: Prof Raama Sreenivasan
  • Virudhunagar: Raadhika Sarathkumar
  • Tenkasi (SC): B John Pandian

On Thursday, the saffron party declared its third list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, naming nine nominees from Tamil Nadu.

Most prominent among them are BJP party’s Tamil Nadu unit chief K Annamalai and former Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Tamilisai resigned as the Governor of Telangana earlier this week and re-joined the BJP with aspirations for a Lok Sabha election ticket.

Also Read: BJP seat-sharing deal in Tamil Nadu gives PMK 10 seats

BJP and its candidates

Keen on making an impression with increased vote share, the BJP has chosen to field all its big guns in Tamil Nadu.

The Lok Sabha elections are crucial for the BJP, which lost a key Tamil Nadu ally — the AIADMK — months ago. The saffron party has since then joined hands with several smaller parties.

Coimbatore, where K Annamalai is contesting from, is seen as a key seat for the BJP given its communally sensitive nature. Demography, geography, and past instances of terror attacks have made Coimbatore fertile grounds for the BJP’s ideological push of majoritarian Hindutva.

The ruling DMK, however, will hope for an anti-incumbency vote split between BJP and AIADMK to turn beneficial for its candidate.

The party is banking on grouse against the DMK, voters who don’t subscribe to Dravidian ideology, the groundwork laid by Annamalai through his recent statewide Padayatra, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to garner votes.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)