Special Correspondent

Pondicherry: Speaker of Pondicherry Assembly M. D. R. Ramachandran on Sunday handed over his application to Pondicherry Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) leader P. Shanmugham, seeking a Congress ticket to contest the forthcoming Assembly poll from Mannadipet constituency.

A host of persons filed supportive applications in favour of the Speaker at the PCC office, which was teeming with ticket aspirants for the third successive day.

Mr. Ramachandran was elected from Mannadipet on an All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) ticket in the 2001 Assembly poll. He was one among the three AIADMK candidates who were elected to the Pondicherry Assembly that year. The 2001 polls saw a short-lived electoral alliance between the Congress and the AIADMK. The coalition ministry was headed by Shanmugham, who remained the Chief Minister for six months sans being a member of the House.

Mr. Ramachandran was elected to the Speaker's post. Despite estranged relations between the coalition partners, Mr. Ramachandran continued to be the Speaker.