Tamil Nadu

BJP names Pon. Radhakrishnan for Kanniyakumari bypoll

Pon Radhakrishnan   | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

Former Union Minister of State, Pon. Radhakrishnan is the BJP’s candidate for the bypoll to the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP announced on Saturday.

The constituency fell vacant following the death of Congress MP H. Vasanthakumar who won the election to the seat in 2019 by nearly 2.6 lakh votes.

The announcement of Mr. Radhakrishnan’s candidature comes barely 12 hours after the AIADMK-BJP sealed their poll pact for Tamil Nadu.

With 20 Assembly seats and the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha seat allotted to it, the BJP has announced its candidate.

Reacting to the announcement, Mr. Radhakrishnan said that he was familiar with the constituency. “I need no introduction to the people of Kanniyakumari. More than the victories, I have lost many times here. Still, the people have always come to me for any help. Be it at the State or Centre or overseas level, I have always reached out to the needy during times of crisis irrespective of whether I was in power or not.”

Banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's poularity, he said, “We have a good number of educational institutions here but the students have to move out for employment. We will try to bring in more industries to southern districts as the BJP government is at the Centre.”

Congress functionaries here expect the high command to select a member from the family of the late Vasanthakumar for the Lok Sabha seat, which would give them an edge over the BJP. “Vasanthakumar had done a lot as the elected representative from the Kanniyakumari constituency. The death was untimely,” a local leader said.

Karti suggests Priyanka Gandhi

Meanwhile, Sivaganga Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, in a tweet, suggested that the party nominate Priyanka Gandhi as the candidate from Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha.

Activist and writer Antony from Nagercoil said that from 1951, the constituency had mostly favoured the Congress. Winners include late stalwarts Marshal A. Nesamony and K. Kamaraj. Following them, Congress leaders Kumari Ananthan, N. Dennis and H. Vasanthakumar were elected.

“No doubt Mr. Radhakrishnan is familiar among the people but he may have to face a tough battle as the secular parties appear to have the ability to win as they have the numbers. Moreover, the anti-incumbency factor against AIADMK rule could work against the BJP candidate,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 5:46:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bjp-names-pon-radhakrishnan-for-kanniyakumari-bypoll/article34003934.ece

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