Multi-cornered contest for lone Puducherry seat
In a multi-cornered contest for the lone seat here, over 900,000 voters will decide the electoral fate of sitting MP and union minister V. Narayanasamy and 29 others April 24.
Like the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, it is a no-holds barred fight amongst 11 political parties and 19 independents.
However, the political combinations are slightly different here as compared to Tamil Nadu.
The Bharatiya Janata Party which stitched up an alliance in Tamil Nadu with DMDK, PMK and MDMK is on the opposite camp in Puducherry. The national party aiming to form the next government at the centre is supporting the All India NR Congress (AINRC) candidate.
On the other hand, the DMDK and MDMK are supporting PMK's candidate. The PMK was the runner-up here in the 2009 elections, securing around 280,000 votes. The DMDK, standing alone then, got around 53,000 votes.
The Congress aligning with the DMK in 2009 won the seat, polling just over 300,000 votes.
Now the fight is mainly between the ruling AINRC's R.Radhakrishnan, PMK's R.K.R. Anandharaman and Congress' Narayanasamy.
For the AINRC, this is the first parliamentary poll since it was formed in 2011.
The party had aligned with the AIADMK and won the assembly elections in 2011 and soon after the two parted ways.
Statehood for Puducherry, infrastructure development, attracting fresh industrial investments, and revitalising the textile units are the major promises given by the contesting parties.
During his campaign, Narayanasamy criticised the Puducherry government for not submitting proper development schemes to the centre to secure funds.
On the other hand, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy blamed the centre for the state to be in dire straits financially.
The DMK president, addressing an election rally here, criticised the alliance between AINRC and the BJP.
The total number of voters is 901,357 comprising 432,048 men, 469,289 women and 20 others.
(Posted on 22-04-2014)