Low-key campaign in Pondy
A low profile election campaign for the April 24 elections in the union territory of Puducherry for the lone Lok Sabha seat came to a close today evening. A total electorate of over 9 lakh, including 50,512 first time voters, would decide the fate of the 30 candidates in the fray.This includes 18 independent candidates.
Due to restrictions imposed by the Election Commission,all the candidates mainly opted for door-to door canvassing and vehicle campaigning.Many public meetings were also not held this time with only AIADMK supremo Ms Jayalalithaa and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, besides union ministrer P Chidambaram ,addressing public meetings here.No national leaders like Sonia Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi visited the Union Territory this time. s.
Even though the candidates of almost all political parties are in the fray,the main fight will be between union minister of state in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy of the Congress and R Radhakrishnan of the All India N R Congress,floated by N Rangasamy after quitting the congress party.
Mr Rangasamy captured power from the congress here within months of floating of his party and is now in the fray in alliance with the BJP. A former Lok Sabha member from Puducherry Prof.M Ramadass, Rangarajan of the AAP and R Viswanathan of the CPI are among the other candidates trying their luck. Interestingly,both the Dravidian parties ,the DMK and AIADMK had fielded candidates hailing from Karaikal region of the union territory.While, the AIADMK had fielded Omalingam,a former legislator here ,the DMK chose a sitting member of the territorial assembly A M H Nazeem.With this move, no other party could make an inroad into Karaikal since,the people other than staunch party supporters, will prefer the locals. While most of the parties had statehood issue,waiver of the loan of Puducherry and overall development as their election plank,the congress candidate Narayansamy alone deviated from the party's earlier stance and announced that the congress wanted Puducherry to remain a union territory to get adequate funds from the centre and ensure its development. Mr Narayansamy also highlighted his achievements for the last five years as a union minister while seeking re-election. The AINRC which is contesting in alliance with the BJP charged that it was Mr Narayanasamy who blocked funds for Puducherry and thereby hindered it's development.He also wanted Mr Modi as the prime minister.
The Aam Aadmi Party is also contesting from Puducherry this time. The electioneering was peaceful and no incidents of violence were reported from any regions.However,several cases of model code violation were registered against different political parties here.
(Posted on 22-04-2014)