The union territory of Puducherry is bracing for assembly elections this year as chief minister N. Rangaswamy’s government ends its tenure in June 2016. Elections will be held to select representatives from 30 constituencies in the legislative assembly.
Incumbent chief minister N. Rangaswamy resigned from Congress and launched the All India N R Congress on 7 February 2011. This party managed to clinch 15 seats in the assembly elections held three months later. Rangaswamy has played an important role in building Puducherry’s infrastructure. He has paved the way for free education in government schools and implementation of the Mid-day Meal Scheme.
In the run-up to this year’s assembly polls, the AINRC will aim to extend its base to Congress bastions like Mahe and Yanam. Tirukoti Bhairavasamy, a former police officer, is likely to be the AINRC candidate from Yanam constituency. Rangaswamy’s party will also be looking to bring disillusioned Congress party members to its fold. In what may be seen as a major setback for the Congress party, estranged party leader P. Kannan has joined the AIADMK.
The PWF, or People’s Welfare Front, is an alliance of CPI(M), CPI, VCK, MDMK and RSP. This coalition has emerged as an important competition to Rangaswamy’s AINRC. Holding the AINRC culpable for neglecting the aspirations of Puducherry’s people, the PWF has declared that it will ensure statehood for Puducherry if it’s voted to power. Following its victory in the 2014 general elections, the BJP is also eager to make inroads in Puducherry.
Although it won’t be wise to predict the election outcome at this juncture, if results of the last parliamentary elections and current trends are anything to go by, the stakes are in favour of AINRC.
According to the Election Commission of India, the union territory of Puducherry will go to polls on 16 May. Polling will take place in one phase only.
Puducherry Assembly Election Results 2011
|All India N.R. Congress (AINRC)||15|
|Indian National Congress (INC)||7|
|All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)||5|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)||2|
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