Three-term Tamil Nadu Congress MLA Vijayadharani joins BJP


Team Udayavani, Feb 24, 2024, 7:56 PM IST

Credit: PTI

New Delhi / Chennai: S Vijayadharani, a Congress MLA from Tamil Nadu for three consecutive terms, joined the BJP on Saturday, asserting that the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very important for the country.

The development is a shot in the arm for the BJP in the southern state where it has struggled to gain ground.

Vijayadharani is the MLA from Vilavancode, which is part of the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat, a constituency the BJP has won in the past.

She posted on X her letter of resignation from the Congress before joining the BJP.

She joined the party in the national capital in the presence of Union Minister L Murugan and the party’s national secretary Arvind Menon, who is the poll in-charge for Tamil Nadu.
Vijayadharani lauded the central government for its various good schemes and lamented that some of those are not being implemented in Tamil Nadu, where the DMK-Congress alliance is in power.

A lot of great things are happening to the country, she said, praising the BJP’s focus on women.

Murugan said people from different sections of society are coming forward to join the BJP to strengthen Modi’s hand.

The BJP was unable to win any of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu in the 2019 general elections.

Vijayadharani, who is also a successful lawyer, is the first sitting MLA to join the BJP.

Prior to the 2021 Assembly election, former state Minister from the AIADMK Nainar Nagendra joined the saffron party from the southern district of Tirunelveli and he is currently the party floor leader.

The Kanyakumari district from where she hails is represented by senior BJP leader M R Gandhi from Nagercoil in the Assembly House. She joins the increasing list of legislators from the district which sent C Velayutham Pillai from the Padmanabhapuram constituency to the Assembly for the first time in 1996.

The political career of Vijayadharani, an intense debater in TV channels, spans over three decades and she is known for her sense of commitment to public service and a strong focus on welfare of the marginalised.

“Her presence will be advantageous to the BJP as she has established for herself a clean image championing the cause of the people especially the downtrodden,” a senior BJP leader said.

He confirmed that she was in touch with the senior leaders in the party before taking the final plunge to embrace the BJP.

Her conspicuous absence in the Assembly during the brief Budget session which concluded on February 22, raised eyebrows and sparked rumours of her joining the BJP. But, the new TNCC chief Selvaperunthagai denied that she was quitting the Congress.

She was first elected from the Vilavancode assembly constituency in 2011 and romped home the winner in 2016 and 2021 elections. Before joining the BJP, the 54-year-old leader was the general secretary of AICC and chief whip of the Congress Legislative Party in the Assembly.

As a legislator she has been voicing for total prohibition and was instrumental in ensuring the closure of some liquor shops in her constituency. This advocate for women empowerment has been batting for 50 percent reservation for women in civic polls.

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