In Puducherry, a fight between two fronts
Puducherry promises to be a face-off between two fronts, Cong-DMK combine and the opposition AINRC-AIADMK alliance.
Puducherry: The April 13 assembly poll in the Union Territory of Puducherry promises to be a face-off between two fronts, the ruling Congress-DMK combine and the opposition AINRC-AIADMK alliance.
While the Congress-DMK alliance is seeking to establish its successive government in the Union Territory, the opposition front is determined to get the present government removed from power and bring in its rule with All India N R Congress (AINRC) founder N Rangasamy as Chief Minister.
Following the pre-poll alliance talks with AIADMK, AINRC has been earmarked 17 seats, while AIADMK will contest 10. CPI, CPM and DMDK have each been allotted the remaining three seats.
Congress is contesting from 17 seats while DMK has been allotted 10. PMK has been earmarked two seats and VCK one.
Rangasamy was ousted as Chief Minister in August 2008 with his own ministerial colleagues revolting against him. He first became Chief Minister in 2001 and after a five year term wore the mantle of Chief Ministership in 2006.
The Rangasamy-led party locks horns with Congress in 11 segments and with DMK in four seats. AIADMK is pitted against DMK in five seats and will face Congress in four constituencies.
CPI challenges Congress nominee and present Chief Minister V Vaithilingam in Kamaraj Nagar, an urban segment. DMDK will face DMK in one segment in Karaikal while Home and Health Minister E Valsaraj (Congress) will contest in Mahe against a CPM candidate.
BJP and a few other parties, including BSP, are going it alone in the polls.
AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa had during her poll campaign projected Rangasamy as Chief Ministerial candidate and sought support to jettison the "corrupt Congress and DMK from continuing in power".
Rangasamy is seeking election from two segments, Indira Nagar and Kadirkamam carved out of Thatanchavady, his pocket borough in all the polls he had contested successively since 1991. This is the first time a contestant will seek election from two seats in Puducherry.
Three of the six ministers and Speaker R Radhakrishnan are facing challenge from AINRC nominees in their constituencies. Revenue Minister Malladi Krishna Rao is contesting against an AIADMK nominee in Yanam, an enclave of the Union Territory in Andhra Pradesh.
The total voter strength in Puducherry has shot up to 8, 10,635 after updating of the voters list. Women voters, with a strength of 4, 19,890, outnumber men whose strength is 3, 90,740. In addition there are five voters coming under 'others' category.
In Puducherry alone, which has has 23 of the total 30 seats in the Union Territory, there are 6, 18,375 voters. Karaikal region with five constituencies, has a total voters strength of 1, 32,840. Mahe and Yanam regions, which have one segment each, have 28,484 and 30,936 voters respectively.
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