Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu is a reserved Lok Sabha constituency for scheduled caste candidates, since 2009.
Bigwigs from the candidate list for the seat include Andimuthu Raja. A Raja was the former Telecom Minister in the UPA government who was accused in 2G spectrum scam case and later acquitted by a court in 2012.
Raja has been a four-time MP who had won thrice from Permabalur. He later shifted his base to Nilgiris in 2009 and won there as well but his winning streak ended in 2014 after being defeated by AIADMK’s C Gopalakrishnan. Gopalakrishnan received 4,63,700 votes whereas A Raja got 3,58,760 votes. The AIADMK’s candidate got 49.70 per cent of the vote share in the seat.
However, for the 2019 elections, A Raja faced M Thiyagarajan of AIADMK in the Nilgiri seat instead of Gopalakrishnan. The DMK candidate won comfortably against his AIADMK opponent with a margin of 205823 votes.
A Raja won 547832 votes while Thiyagarajan got 341649 votes.
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AMMK is the breakaway faction of the AIADMK led by Jayalalithaa's close aide jailed Sasikala Natarajan's nephew TTV Dinakaran. The party was expected to eat into the AIADMK's vote share.
Tamil Nadu has traditionally voted to alternate between AIADMK and DMK. It was known that the key battle in the Niligiris would be between Raja and Thiyagarajan.
Nilgiris along with 37 other seats in Tamil Nadu (the Vellore Lok Sabha poll was countermanded) went to polls in a single phase on April 18. It received 73.7% polling.
Environmental pollution, encroachments on wildlife reserves and a water crisis were key issues in the constituency.
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