It is to avoid confusion among voters: BJP

Even as the Pattali Makkal Katchi candidate, R.K.R. Anantharaman, refused to withdraw his candidature from the Puducherry Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday asked the PMK in Puducherry to avoid using the name and flags of the BJP and the name of its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, for seeking votes.

This assumed significance in the background of a final list released here by the election authorities that included the candidature of Mr. Anantharaman for the Puducherry seat.

It meant that he would intensify his campaign with the support of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK), constituents of the National Democratic Alliance in Tamil Nadu, who have already extended support to the PMK candidate.

However, the BJP, which has declared that the All India N.R. Congress is in the NDA fold, is supporting AINRC candidate R. Radhakrishnan in Puducherry.

Talking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, S. Visweswaran, president of the BJP’s Puducherry unit, said that efforts taken by him and the BJP leadership had failed to persuade Mr. Anantharaman to withdraw from the race. Though he was using the name of the BJP for garnering votes so far, the party waited till the expiry of deadline for withdrawal of nomination as it expected that Mr. Anantharaman would opt out of the race. Hence, the BJP had taken a decision to prevent political parties except the AINRC in Puducherry to use the party and Mr. Modi’s name in electioneering. The message would be conveyed to the PMK candidate.

Mr. Visweswaran said that it was basically to avoid confusion among voters. It may be noted that the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) has taken a neutral stand in Puducherry and its leadership has said that no one should use the name and party flag in the campaign.

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