BJP’s Tamil Nadu President, K Annamalai, will contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Coimbatore, the party, which has announced the first list of nine candidates, has said. 

Also, former Governor of Telangana and Puducherry, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, will contest from Chennai South. 

This puts to rest speculation about whether Annamalai would be asked to contest in elections this time or not. There is growing view among political analysts that Annamalai contesting in the elections is a ploy by other members of the party to remove him from the Tamil Nadu political theatre. “I wonder whether the BJP is a party with a difference or a party with differences,” says political analyst, Prakash M Swamy. Not many are happy with the way Annamalai is leading the party, as they feel that by burning bridges with the AIADMK he has sacrificed immediate gains for long term benefits.  

On other other hand, the other view is that Annamalai, who will face former mayor, Ganapathi Rajkumar of DMK, is very likely to win. He could then become a Union minister, adding to Tamil Nadu’s heft and, if necessary, be asked to contest again in the 2026 assembly elections. 

Tamilisai Soundararajan will face the incumbent DMK MP, Tamilachi Thangapandian, sister of the state’s finance minister, Thangam Tennarasu. Jayavardhan of AIADMK is also contesting from the constituency.  

The Union fisheries minister, Dr L Murugan, who is a Rajya Sabha MP today, will contest from Nilgiris (reserved) constituency, where he will face the DMK high-profile honcho, A Raja.  

Nainar Nagendran, sitting BJP MLA—one of the four the party has in the state assembly—will contest from Tirunelveli. The first press release from BJP showed that he would contest from Thoothukudi, but an amended release says mentions Tirunelveli, where he will face a Congress candidate. 

Educationist A C Shanmugam, who runs several colleges in Tamil Nadu, will contest from Vellore. Dr Shanmugam is the founder of a party called Puthiya Needi Katchi (New Justice Party). As was widely expected, he is standing on BJP symbol.  

Former Congress MP, C Narasimhan, the founder of the Raasi group of companies which has interests in solar energy and lithium-ion batteries, is contesting from Krishnagiri, where he will face V Jayaprakash of AIADMK.  

T R Paarivendar, industrialist and educationist, of the SRM group of institutions and the Ramachandra medical college, is contesting from Perambalur, where he will face DMK’s Arun Nehru, son of DMK honcho, K N Nehru. Like A C Shanmugam, Paarivendar is also the founder of a political outfit (Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi, of IJK), but is contesting on BJP’s lotus symbol. 

Vinoj P Selvam will contest from Chennai Central, where he will face DMK leader and former Union Telecom minister, Dayanidhi Maran. 

Finally, Pon Radhakrishnan, a former Union Minister of State for Finance and a former BJP TN President, is contesting from Kanya Kumari. It was speculated that he might be given a gubernatorial position to make way for S Vijayadharini, a sitting MLA, who recently moved from Congress to BJP. Radhakrishnan, (reverently called ‘Ponnar’) has been BJP’s MP from Tamil Nadu earlier.