This could end up splitting votes: BJP leader

With three weeks to go for polling, the electoral calculations of Puducherry Chief Minister N. Rangasamy seem to have gone off course with the constituents of the National Democratic Alliance working as two different fronts in the Union Territory.

Candidates of both the PMK and Mr. Rangasamy’s AINRC are seeking votes with Narendra Modi as their mascot, placing the BJP in a tight spot.

On Sunday, MDMK general secretary Vaiko released a statement, backing PMK candidate R.K.R. Anantharaman. This decision came a day after DMDK leader Vijayakant said none in the Union Territory should use his name or party flags and symbols for campaigning. All the three parties are part of the NDA at the national level.

The MDMK’s decision followed an appeal from the PMK for support. “The MDMK is reciprocating the work our cadre are doing in Tamil Nadu in the seats the party is contesting,” said a PMK functionary.

But a senior leader in the BJP, who was involved in the alliance talks, said the party would continue to back the AINRC as the decision to ally with Mr. Rangasamy was taken by its central leadership. However, the leader said both the PMK and the AINRC projecting Mr. Modi as their mascot could end up splitting votes.