The Bharatiya Janata Party, which contested from all 232 seats in the state, did not record any wins in Tamil Nadu in the 2016 Assembly election. The national party stood independently, and managed to win only around 2.8% of the vote share, according to data from the Election Commission. In comparison, the Congress won three seats and is leading in five, and has around 6.6% of the state’s vote share. According to local channel Sun News, the BJP did so poorly that it lost its deposit in 230 out of 232 seats despite a campaign that included rallies addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Among key party members in the state, BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan was trailing in Virugambakkam constituency, around 36,000 votes behind the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate. H Raja, who stood from T Nagar, was lagging behind both the AIADMK and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidates. The BJP did not win any seats in the 2011 state election. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it won one seat in Kanyakumari.