N R Congress candidates, allies pull off dramatic victories with huge margins
The victory of the All India N R Congress (AINRC) was sweet revenge for N. Rangasamy against his parent party, Congress, for removing him half-way during his second tenure as Chief Minister, alleging “non-performance.”
The AINRC won 15 of the 17 seats it contested in the 30-member Assembly.
A jubilant Mr. Rangasamy told reporters after receiving the certificate from the returning officer that “the victory was expected. It was the wish of the people.”
A senior AINRC functionary told The Hindu that a meeting of party MLAs has been convened on Friday night to discuss the nitty-gritty of government formation.
Following the results, Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam submitted his resignation. He told The Hindu that he accepted defeat and the party would introspect on the outcome. The AINRC, along with AIADMK, won 20 seats, pushing the Congress and its ally DMK to 9 seats.
The results indicated a clear pro-Rangasamy wave, so much so that even political novices and politicians considered being in hibernation, who joined the AINRC, got past their nearest rivals with a thumping majority. Mr. Rangasamy won both the constituencies he contested from, Kadirgamam and Indira Nagar, with a huge margin.
The victory of the AINRC has surprised leaders cutting across party lines as they held the view during the run-up to the polls that Mr. Rangasamy's influence could only be limited to rural areas. However, the results have brought in a completely different picture, as the party candidates and those put up by alliance partners in the town and coastal belt pulled off dramatic victories. In some of the cases, the margins were so high that it has set a new trend in this politically volatile region.
The Congress, which was hoping to return to power for the third time, could only manage to win 7 of the total 17 seats it contested. Speaker R. Radhakrishnan, Public Works Minister M.O.H.F Shahjahan and Social Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy lost their battle to AINRC candidates. While the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam won 2 seats out of the 10 it contested, Pattali Makkal Katchi and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi drew a blank.
Keywords: Puducherry assembly elections