Staff Reporter

Holds the seat since 1991 He has been holding the seat since 1991

Congress contesting 16 seats nowMost of the present MLAs re-fielded

Pondicherry: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy (Congress) is seeking re-election in the forthcoming Assembly polls from his home constituency of Thattanchavady here. He has been holding the constituency since 1991. Although he fought the poll for the first time from this segment in 1990 he was vanquished by V.Pethaperumal of the then Janata Dal party.

Rangasamy faced constant challenge from Mr. Pethaperumal in all the subsequent polls held in 1991, 1996 and in 2001. He had emerged victorious and retained the constituency in all the polls held from 1991.

Mr. Rangasamy became Agriculture Minister in the then Congress ministry headed by V. Vaithilingam. He became the Chief Minister in 2001. It was a culmination of his unbroken attachment to the party.

Pondicherry had a short-lived coalition ministry in 1990 formed by the DMK along with the then Janata Dal (U). The Ministry collapsed within a year of its formation. The Congress was a major opposition in the then Assembly that was formed after the poll in 1990. Mr. Rangasamy formed part of the then opposition. Thattanchavady is dotted with JIPMER, a number of professional colleges, a couple of industrial estates, several residential colonies and Mr. Rangasamy has nurtured it with much care and attention. There has been a criticism that he has been according priority while offering jobs in government sector or other fields to the youth hailing from Thattanchavady only.

Highest percentage

He polled 69.71 percent of the total valid votes in the 1991 elections.

It was the highest percentage of voting any candidate registered in the battle of ballots.

Pethaperumal himself had joined the ruling Congress after severing ties with the Janata Dal (United) here several months ago.

Mr. Rangasamy is among the 13 nominees of the Congress finalised for the polls by the high command.

The party is contesting 16 seats now. Its first list released recently announced re-fielding of E.Valsaraj and A.V. Sreedharan in Mahe and Palloor constituencies respectively. The Congress has fielded Malladi Krishna Rao to contest from Yanam region. Mr. Rao was an Independent member in the outgoing Assembly. He joined the Congress on April 6. Congress has re-fielded most of the present legislators in the constituencies they were holding now. Some new faces are also fielded.

They are: G. Ravichandran (Cassicadai) and P.R.N. Thirumurugan (Cottuchery in Karaikal). Mr. Ravichandran is the president of the Pondicherry State INTUC committee. Cassicadai is an important segment and has been held by and large by the Congress or by the parties that broke away from it. It is a prestigious constituency for some of the political parties.

Further, C. Jayakumar who represented Villianoor in the outgoing Assembly as Tamil Maanila Congress member switched his allegiance to Congress.