Voting for the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu took place in a single phase on April 18. A total of 38 parliamentary constituencies (out of 39) in Tamil Nadu went to the poll in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election 2019. Out of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, seven are reserved for scheduled castes. The seats reserved for SCs are: Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Nilgiris, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam, and Tenkasi.
Polling didn't take place in Vellore due to abuse of money power. More than 822 candidates were in the fray, vying for the ballots of the state's over 5.8 crore registered voters.
The main parties contesting the Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha election are the Congress, National Democratic Alliance (which includes the BJP and the AIDAMK), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), TTV Dinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM).
Here are some key contests that took place in this general election in the state:
1. Chennai Central - Dayanidhi Maran (DMK) Vs Sam Paul (PMK)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: SR Vijayakumar, Margin: 45,841)
Former Union minister and DMK candidate Dayanidhi Maran will face PMK's Sam Paul in Chennai Central. In 2014, AIADMK's SR Vijayakumar won the seat for the first time for the party and defeated Maran with over 45,000 votes. Chennai Central has been the bastion of DMK over the years. In the last seven elections, the DMK won the seat 5 times in a row in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Dayanidhi won the seat twice in 2004 and 2009 whereas his father Murasoli Maran won it thrice in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
2. Sriperumbudur - TR Baalu (DMK) Vs A Vaithialingam (PMK)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: KN Thiru Ramachandran, Margin: 1,02,646)
The DMK has fielded its senior leader and former Union minister TR Baalu from Sriperumbudur this time. Baalu won the election from the same constituency in 2009. However, in 2014 the party lost the seat to the AIADMK when its candidate Ramachandran defeated DMK's Jagathrakshakan by more than 1 lakh votes. In the last seven elections, the DMK won it four times in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2009 whereas the AIADMK won the seat in 1998 and 2014. The Congress also emerged victorious from the constituency thrice in a row in 1984, 1989 and 1991.
3. Dharmapuri - S Senthil Kumar (DMK) Vs Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK)
(2014 Result: PMK, Winner: Anbumani Ramadoss, Margin: 77,146)
PMK's Anbumani Ramadoss will try to retain his seat this time also as he is facing a tough battle from DMK's Senthil Kumar. Ramadoss defeated AIADMK's PS Mohan in 2014 with a handsome margin of more than 77,000 votes. In the last seven elections, the PMK won the seat four times in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014. The AIADMK last won the seat in 1989 whereas the DMK was successful in 2009.
4. Nilgiris - A Raja (DMK) Vs M Thiyagarajan (AIADMK)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: C Gopalakrishnan, Margin: 1,04,940)
The DMK has again fielded A Raja from Nilgiris who lost the seat in 2014. AIADMK's Gopalakrishnan humbled Raja with a margin of over 1 lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the last seven elections, the DMK won the seat only once in 2009 whereas the BJP was successful twice in 1998 and 1999. Congress candidate R Prabhu represented the seat five times in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 2004.
5. Coimbatore - CP Radhakrishnan Vs PR Natarajan (CPM)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: P Nagarajan, Margin: 42,016)
Coimbatore is one of the seats in the state where the BJP has been in a strong position and even its candidate CP Radhakrishnan won it twice in 1998 and 1999. In 2014, Radhakrishnan was defeated by AIADMK's Nagarajan by over 40,000 votes. Radhakrishnan will be facing CPM's Natarajan this time who represented the constituency once in 2009.
6. Karur - M Thambidurai (AIADMK) Vs Jothimani (Congress)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: M Thambidurai, Margin: 1,95,247)
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai is locked in an intense battle with Congress-DMK combine's Jothimani in Karur. Thambidurai won the seat with a massive margin in 2014 and represented the seat in 1989, 1998 and 2009 also. The DMK won the seat only once in 2004.
7. Chidambaram - Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK) Vs P Chandrasekar (AIADMK)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: M Chandrakasi, Margin: 1,28,495)
VCK chief Thirumavalavan is again trying his luck from Chidambaram after he was defeated by the AIADMK in the 2014 elections. Thirumavalavan represented the seat in 2009 whereas the PMK won the seat thrice in a row in 1998, 1999 and 2004.
8. Sivaganga (2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: Pr Senthilnathan, Margin: 2,29,385)
2019 candidates: H Raja (BJP) Vs Karti Chidambaram (Congress)
Former Union minister P Chidambaram's son Karti will have to face BJP's firebrand leader H Raja from Sivaganga this time. In 2014, both Karti and Raja lost the election to AIADMK's Senthilnathan. P Chidambaram represented the seat for a record seven times in 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2009. He was the member of GK Moopanar's Tamil Maanila Congress in 1996 and 1998.
9. Theni - OP Ravindranath Kumar (AIADMK) Vs EVKS Elangovan (Congress)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: R Parthipan, Margin: 3,14,532)
Congress leader Elangovan has been pitted against AIADMK's Ravindranath Kumar in Theni. The AIADMK won the seat in 2014 when its candidate Parthipan defeated the DMK with a huge margin of over 3 lakh votes. The Congress won the seat in 2009.
10. Thoothukkudi - Kanimozhi (DMK) Vs Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP)
(2014 Result: AIADMK, Winner: J Jeyasingh Thiyagaraj, Margin: 1,24,002)
Thoothukkudi will see the clash of titans as M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi will be contesting her maiden Lok Sabha elections against BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan. The AIADMK was the successful party in 2014 when Jeyasingh Thiyagaraj defeated DMK's P Jegan by more than 1 lakh votes. The DMK won the seat in 2009.
11. Kanyakumari - H Vasanthakumar (Congress) Vs Pon Radhakrishnan (BJP)
(2014 Result: BJP, Winner: Pon Radhakrishnan, Margin: 1,28,662)
Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan is taking on Congress candidate Vasanthakumar from Kanyakumari. Radhakrishnan won the seat in 2014 with an impressive margin of over 1,25,000 votes. Before the delimitation process in 2009, the seat was known as Nagercoil and Radhakrishnan represented it in 1999. Congress leader N Dennis represented the seat six times in a row in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1998 before his defeat at the hands of Radhakrishnan in 1999.
Prominent Faces in Tamil Nadu
The state has a maximum number of Lok Sabha seats in southern India and there are some prominent faces in the electoral fray this time. From Kanimozhi to Karti Chidambaram, there are several prominent faces in the state.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s H Raja is contesting from the Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency where he is pitted against former union finance minister P Chidambaram's son Karti Chidambaram. Karti Chidambaram had fought the 2014 parliamentary polls from Sivaganga, the stronghold of his father, but lost to AIADMK's P.R. Senthilnathan.
P Chidambaram had represented the constituency in 2004 and 2009. Another battle to watch out for is in Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency where BJP’s Tamilisai Soundararajan is up against DMK’s M.K. Kanimozhi.
Two-time Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi of the DMK is hoping to win her first Lok Sabha election from Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. The daughter of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and half-sister of DMK chief MK Stalin, Kanimozhi is pitted against Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party chief Tamilisai Soundararajan and M Bhuvaneswaran from the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.