Tamil Nadu BJP state vice president Nainar Nagendran created a flutter on Friday by filing his nomination papers from the Tirunelveli assembly constituency ahead of the official release of the candidates' list by the party. Nagendran, who was a former minister in the AIADMK cabinet, had joined the BJP in 2017.
He represented the Tirunelveli constituency twice in 2001-06 and in 201116 and had unsuccessfully contested on two occasions. His sudden move came at a time when a delegation of BJP leaders under state chief L Murugan left for New Delhi today to confer with the party high command and finalise the candidates' list for 20 constituencies from which the BJP agreed to contest in alliance with the AIADMK.
"I had filed the papers, as today is auspicious," Nagendran, seeking to contest for the fifth time from Tirunelveli, told reporters. He submitted his papers, on the first day of filing of nominations, accompanied by one person as per the Election Commission of India's COVID-19 protocol.
Some local BJP leaders are aware of his move to file the papers. "The party's leaders know that he would file the papers today.So it is not a secret or a surprise," BJP state secretary K T Raghavan told PTI.
He said Nagendran is among the potential candidates which the party has identified. "The BJP will announce the candidates' list soon," Raghavan added.
"Perhaps he didn't want to miss the auspicious day on which AIADMK coordinator and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam too had filed from Bodinayakkanur," a senior BJP leader said. "In my view, the candidate could furnish the Form B, authorising him to contest on party ticket, before the last date of withdrawal of nominations (March 19)," he said.
Asked why he didn't wait for the official nomination, Nagendran replied that the BJP would make the announcement "anytime." He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda for the opportunity and exuded confidence that the NDA will get a decisive mandate in the April 6 election..