Amid the high-level political drama in the tiny semi-state of Puducherry ahead of the assembly polls, the Congress party had sent shockwaves as the party's list of candidates for the assembly polls didn't carry the name of former Chief Minister Narayanasamy. The development has come days after the grand old party inked a deal with the DMK and formed an alliance to contest in the polls.
Recently, the Narayanasamy-led Congress government was expelled from power after it had failed to prove the majority in the 30-member assembly. With some of the senior Congress legislators switched side and joined rival BJP, the Congress government was toppled at the assembly following which the Presidential rule has come to effect with Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan taking the baton of authority in discharging the duties of the administration.
After being toppled, the Congress party had lost its rule in South India and the aberrant state of the party had pushed the leadership to revive back in the upcoming elections. Puducherry will be going to the single-phase assembly polls on April 6 along with Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Congress party has inked a deal with the DMK in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and while DMK had offered 25 seats for the Congress party in Tamil Nadu, the grand old party has got 15 seats of the 30 Assembly seats in Puducherry.
The Congress party heads the Secular Democratic Alliance in Puducherry and of 30 seats, Congress will be contesting in 15 seats, DMK will be fielding candidates in 13 seats while Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Communist Party of India (CPI) had got one seat each. After multiple rounds of talks over finalizing the candidates, the Congress party had on Tuesday released the first list of the candidates.
In the first list, the Congress party had announced the candidates for 14 seats out of 15 in which former Chief Minister Narayanasamy didn't find a place to contest, which had stirred dissents from his supporters against the party. The Congress party has offered tickets for senior leaders including Puducherry Congress Committee President AV Subramanian (Karaikal North) and former Industries Minister Shah Jahan to contest Kamaraj Nagar.
Some of the other leaders include former ministers Kandasamy (Embalam) and Kamalakannan (Tirunallar). Shah Jahan had contested from the Kalapet constituency in the 2016 assembly polls and now he has got a ticket to contest from Kamaraj Nagar. Though ignoring the ticket for former Chief Minister Narayanasamy had stirred outrage, the reports close to the developments say that the Congress party is yet to announce the candidate for Yanam and it has been expected that Narayanasamy will be fielded in Yanam.
As All India NR Congress (AINRC) Founder N Rangasamy will be contesting in Yanam, the Congress party plans to field Narayanasamy to take on his rival. On the other side, BJP and ADMK had finally reached a deal to contest in nine and five seats respectively while the rest of the 16 seats will be contested by AINRC, which leads the alliance in the Union Territory.
Puducherry will be witnessing four fronts in the upcoming assembly polls - AINRC alliance (AINRC, ADMK, BJP), Secular Democratic Alliance (Congress, DMK, VCK, CPI), Kamal Haasan-Sarathkumar alliance, and Vijayakanth's DMDK, which will be contesting independently. Puducherry will be going to the polls on April 6 and the votes will be counted on May 2, during which the results will be announced.