H. Raja suffers yet another defeat

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national secretary H. Raja, known for his rhetoric and controversial remarks, has suffered yet another defeat in his political career when Congress nominee Karti P Chidambaram beat him by a huge margin in the elections to Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, results of which were announced on Thursday.

Mr Raja who entered the fray with the support of the ruling AIADMK, after twice unsuccessfully contesting from the constituency in the 1999 and 2014 elections, ended runner up with 2,33,860 votes and suffered his fifth defeat in the last six electoral battles – both in the assembly and parliament elections.

The ‘firebrand’ leader was tipped for a berth in the Cabinet in the event of his win and BJP coming back to power at the Centre but was swept away along with his colleagues in the strong anti-Modi wave in the State. Mr Karti defeated him by a margin of 3,32,244 votes in the keenly watched electoral battle.

Mr. Raja made his electoral début in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections from Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency when the BJP became part of the DMK-led alliance for the first time in the State but lost to Congress nominee Sudharsana Nachiappan. Mr. Raja hads then polled 2,22,267 votes. Two decades later, he ended runner up again and improved his tally only by 11,593 votes.

Later, Mr. Raja tested his electoral fortunes in the 2001, 2006 and 2016 assembly elections and tasted his maiden victory in the 2001 elections from Karaikudi with the backing of the DMK. He suffered defeats in the other two elections. He unsuccessfully contested from Alandur in the 2006 assembly elections, polling just 9,298 votes and from T. Nagar in the 2016 elections to be relegated to the third place.

In the non-electoral arena, Mr Raja, who was active in RSS before joining the BJP in 1989, suffered an embarrassing defeat when he failed in his bid to become the president of the Bharat Scouts and Guides (Tamil Nadu) in 2017. He managed to secure only 52 of 286 votes.

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