BJP's Annamalai, a former IAS officer, loses to DMK's R Elango in Aravakurichi

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BJP's Annamalai, a former IAS officer, loses to DMK's R Elango in Aravakurichi
BCCL
BJP's Annamalai, a former IAS officer, loses to DMK's R Elango in Aravakurichi by 24816 votes

Before plunging into elections for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Annamalai has projected quite a few of his avatars in social media. Relinquishing his renowned career as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Annamalai showed his interest in renewing traditional agriculture in the state. He is the founder of the social movement ‘We The Leaders,’ which originated from Aravakurichi, in Karur district of Tamil Nadu.

Annamalai in the election scene

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Totally in alignment to his wishes, BJP fielded him in Aravakurichi for the 2021 Tamil Nadu state assembly elections.

Annamalai faced a strategic competition in the seat with a list of powerful candidates lined up against him. Fighting against him were names like Elango R fielded by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Mohammed Haneef Shahil representing the Makkal Needhi Maiam(MNM), and Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam’s (AMMK) candidate PSN Thangavel. However, political experts say that the real competition in this seat is only between Annamalai and DMK’s Elango. DMK appears confident of benefiting from the votes of Muslims and the scheduled castes who make up a sizeable chunk of the constituency’s population.

After the BJP successfully wooed Annamalai to represent the party in this constituency, he has been actively engaged in a war of words with the DMK leaders.

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Annamalai and Aravakurichi

Long before stepping into politics, Annamalai has done a lot of ground work in the Aravakurichi constituency. There had also been talks that Annamalai could be the most preferred candidate for the party if Tamil superstar Rajinikanth would start his political party, which never happened. To get popular among the voters in the constituency, Annamalai has been organising a number of programmes, events and competitions in the constituency like rangoli contests and marathons. After joining the BJP, his popularity has surged even more with the locals.

In the 2016 assembly elections, the polling was withheld in this constituency on complaints that the political parties heavily bribed the voters.

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In the election conducted subsequent to this, Senthil Balaji of AIADMK won from here. During the political feuds that took place in the AIADMK after former Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha’s demise, Senthil Balaji was disqualified as an MLA as he took sides with TTV Dhinakaran of the AMMK.

Later on, he joined the DMK and faced the by-election in 2019 on behalf of the DMK, bagging a huge victory.

This time, Annamalai is banking on the Modi wave ensuing from his BJP candidature and the reputation of AIADMK among the voters of this constituency.

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