Pushing behind the ruling NR Congress, the Congress-DMK combine, bagging 17 seats out of the total 30 Assembly constituencies, is all set to form the government in Puducherry.
Pushing behind the ruling NR Congress, the Congress-DMK combine, bagging 17 seats out of the total 30 Assembly constituencies, is all set to form the government in Puducherry. Winning 15 seats, the Congress became the single largest party and its alliance partner won two seats.
It was a sweet revenge moment for the Congress, which faced a setback in the Union Territory in the 2011 Assembly election against N. Rangasamy who floated his own party, breaking away with the Congress days ahead of the Assembly polls. NR Congress was able to secure only eight seats as against 15 in the 2011 elections. The AIADMK, which contested the elections on its own, won four seats. Independent V. Ramachandran, backed by the People’s Welfare Alliance (PWA), defeated Congress heavyweight E. Valsaraj in Mahe who was representing the constituency for 25 years.
Chief minister N. Rangasamy won from Indira Nagar constituency, defeating V. Aroumougam of the Congress by a margin of 3,404 votes.
Though the chief minister was victorious, all his Cabinet colleagues and Speaker V. Sabapathy tasted defeat in the elections. Mr Rangasamy submitted his resignation later in the evening. Prominent among successful Congress candidates include former chief minister V. Vaithilingam who won from Kamarajanar defeating his nearest AIADMK rival P. Ganesan by a margin of 5,106 votes. Party Pradesh Congress Committee president A. Namassivayam won from Villianur with a margin of 8,281 votes. Giving a shock to the AIADMK camp, P. Kannan, a former Rajya Sabha member who quit the Congress and joined the AIADMK to contest the elections from Rajbhavan constituency, was defeated by his one-time protégé K. Laksminarayanan of the Congress.
In Karaikal South constituency, five-time DMK MLA A. M. H. Nazeem lost to the AIADMK’s K.A.U. Asana by a slender margin of 20 votes. The PWA, comprising the DMDK, MDMK, CPI(M), CPI and the RSP, which contested 28 constituencies and the BJP, which had fielded candidates in all 30 seats, drew a blank.
The Congress did not name the chief ministerial candidate ahead of the polls. Chances are equal for former Union minister V. Narayanasamy and Vaithilingam to form the government.