Pon Radhakrishnan
Minister of State for Finance
In office
3 September 2017 – 24 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
MinisterArun Jaitley
Preceded byArjun Ram Meghwal
Succeeded byAnurag Thakur
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways
In office
9 November 2014 – 3 September 2017
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
MinisterNitin Gadkari
Preceded byKrishan Pal Gurjar
Succeeded byV. K. Singh
In office
8 September 2003 – 22 May 2004
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
MinisterB. C. Khanduri
Preceded byShripad Naik
Succeeded byK. H. Muniyappa
Minister of State for Shipping
In office
9 November 2014 – 24 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
MinisterNitin Gadkari
Preceded byKrishan Pal Gurjar
Succeeded byMansukh L. Mandaviya (as MoS Independent charge)
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Kanyakumari
In office
5 June 2014 – 18 June 2019
Preceded byJ. Helen Davidson
Succeeded byH. Vasanthakumar
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Nagercoil
In office
Preceded byN. Dennis
Succeeded byA. V. Bellarmin
Personal details
Born (1952-03-01) 1 March 1952 (age 71)
Nagercoil, Travancore-Cochin, India
(now in Tamil Nadu, India)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Parent(s)Ponniah Ayyappan and Thanga Kani
Residence(s)Nagercoil, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu, India
Alma materScott Christian College, Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai
ProfessionLawyer, Politician

Pon Radhakrishnan (born 1 March 1952) is an Indian politician from Tamil Nadu, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Shipping between May 2014 and May 2019.[1] Earlier, he served in the Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways in the NDA government. He has served as the minister of state for Youth affairs and Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation in Third Vajpayee Ministry. He is elected to Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu in 2014. He lost in the recent 2019 and 2021 (by-election) parliamentary elections.

Personal life

Radhakrishnan was born on March 1, 1952, in Alanthangarai village, Kanyakumari district to his father Ponnaya Ayyappan and mother Thangakani into a traditional Congress family, Radhakrishnan holds a B.A. Degree in Government Law College, Chennai.[2]

Political career

Early political career

After Kamaraj's demise, some of his family members joined the Janata Party. Radhakrishnan's brother Ramakrishnan joined the Hindu Nationalist Jana Sangh and took charge as the district chairman. Radhakrishnan's uncle Chidambaram Athiswami Nadar contested and won the Colachal constituency in the 1977 elections on behalf of the Janata Party. In 1981, Radhakrishnan joined a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and later became its secretary. Later, Radhakrishnan's father Ponnaya Ayyappan was elected as the District President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).[2]

Radhakrishnan joined the Hindu Munnani which was started in 1980, began to grow slowly in the Kanyakumari district. He traveled with its founder Rama Gopalan throughout Tamil Nadu for about a year as his assistant. He also worked as a co-organizer of the Hindu Munnani in the state.[2]

Radhakrishnan contested the Lok Sabha elections in Nagercoil for the first time in the 1991 elections. Despite being in the Hindu Munnani at the time, he contested as a BJP candidate and got 1 lakh 2 thousand 29 votes.[2]

As minister

Pon Radhakrishnan won the 1999 Lok Sabha election from Nagercoil constituency and became Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government of 1999–2004. Later, he also served as Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.[3] Pon Radhakrishnan lost the elections in 2004, 2009 and 2019.[4]

He was president of Tamil Nadu state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, resigning the position when he became a Minister of State in the Narendra Modi-led government.[5] He had won in a Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 Indian general election, from Kanyakumari constituency by a margin of 1,28,662 votes.[6] During this tenure, he served as Minister of State in various portfolios like Heavy Industries, Shipping and Finance.[citation needed]

Pon. Radhakrishnan participated in a BJP rally in support of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in Nagercoil in March 2020 where he spoke of chasing away Christian priests from the district. Many demanded that action be taken against Pon. Radhakrishnan for his communal speech which can incite violence.[7] Police complaints were also filed against him.[8]

He lost the elections in 2019 to H. Vasanthakumar from Indian National Congress.

After the death of Vasanthakumar, he again contest in 2021 by-election. But he was defeated by Vijay Vasanth who the son of late Vasanthakumar.

Political views

Radhakrishnan in 2019 asked Tamil people to study Hindi and Sanskrit. He said that could not learn Sanskrit for various reasons and that he was ashamed of it. He also said that Sanskrit and Tamil are equal.[9] He also urged parents to let their children to learn Sanskrit.[10]


Fishermen vote controversy

Fishermen in Kanniyakumari claimed that around 40,000 - 45,000 fishermen votes in the 48 coastal hamlets in Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency was deliberately removed from the electoral-list out of fear that the fishermen would vote against the lone BJP Union minister, Pon Radhakrishnan, contesting in the constituency during the 2019 Lok sabha elections.[11] The coastal fishermen also complained that votes of inland fishermen in another 68 villages also have been removed purposely. They also alleged that their names were removed only a few days before the day of polling.[12][13]

Other controversies

In September 2019, Radhakrishnan created a controversy after calling Tamil people as 'ungrateful'.He explained that the Tamil people failed to celebrate Modi after he praised the Tamil language. Later he claimed that he did not call all Tamils as ungrateful and only those doing politics with the language.[14][15]


Lok Sabha Elections

Year Election Party PC name Result Votes gained Vote %
1991 10th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Nagercoil 3rd Place 1,02,029 18.82%
1996 11th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Nagercoil Runner up 1,69,885 30.25%
1998 12th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Nagercoil Runner up 2,67,426 45.08%
1999 13th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Nagercoil Won 3,07,319 50.21%
2004 14th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Nagercoil Runner up 2,45,797 36.49%
2009 15th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Kanniyakumari Runner up 2,54,474 33.20 %
2014 16th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Kanniyakumari Won 3,72,906 37.62 %
2019 17th Lok Sabha Bharatiya Janata Party Kanniyakumari Runner up 3,67,302 35.04 %
2021 bye-election 2021 Bharatiya Janata Party Kanniyakumari Runner up 438,087 39.92%




  1. ^ "PRESS COMMUNIQUE - President of India allocates portfolios of the Council of Ministers". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "உருவானார் பொன். ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). 26 April 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. ^ Radhakrishnan "Pon Radhakrishnan". India. Retrieved 19 September 2015. ((cite web)): Check |url= value (help)
  4. ^ "P Radhakrishnan Biography". Election. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Tamilisai Sounderrajan appointed BJP TN unit president". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha Elections and Results 2014". Elections. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  7. ^ ""அவர்களை ஓடஓட விரட்டியடிக்க வேண்டும்" - வன்முறையைத் தூண்டும் வகையில் பொன்.ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் திமிர் பேச்சு!". www.kalaignarseithigal.com. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  8. ^ Christians political party police complaints against Pon Radhakrishnan Tamil news, archived from the original on 12 December 2021, retrieved 27 July 2021
  9. ^ "சமஸ்கிருதம் தெரியாமல் வெட்கப்படுகிறேன்.. தமிழர்களே ஹிந்தி, சமஸ்கிருதம் படியுங்கள்: பொன்.ராதா". 14 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Let Your Kids learn Sanskrit: Radhakrishnan".
  11. ^ "In Kanyakumari, Christian fisherfolk suspect foul play in mass deletion of voters' names, cite opposition to Sagarmala as reason Elections on the GO". Firstpost. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Fisherfolk fume over many names deleted from the voters list in Kanyakumari". The Times of India. 19 April 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  13. ^ Aruloli, M. (23 April 2019). "Over 37,000 names deleted from voters list, say Kanniyakumari fishers". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Tamils are ungrateful people: Former BJP minister". Deccan Herald. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  15. ^ "BJP's Pon Radhakrishnan calls Tamils 'ungrateful', gets slammed". www.thenewsminute.com. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Public (Elections) Department, Tamil Nadu". elections.tn.gov.in. Retrieved 24 October 2017.