Defectors turn game changers in Puducherry

BJP candidate A Namasivayam receives victory certificate in Mannadipattu constituency in Puducherry on May 2, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

The spate of defections of several heavyweights that triggered the fall of the Narayanasamy-led Government before completing term, is now scorching the electoral prospects of the Congress alliance with many former associates notching up crucial wins for the rival front as early results of the April 6 elections came in on Sunday.

And in the zero-sum game that has benefited the NDA as a whole in its bid for power, the BJP appears to have gained the most as it is now assured of a conspicuous tally of legislators in the 15th Legislative Assembly, whichever way the results go from here on.

Among the clutch of leaders who quit the Congress were A. Namassivayam, former Minister and second-in-command in the Narayanasamy Cabinet, and A. John Kumar, with a reputation of massive victory margins, who joined the BJP, and K. Lakshminarayanan, who served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister.

Both Mr. Namassivayam and Mr. John Kumar chalked up wins in their respective constituencies. While Mr. John Kumar vanquished former Minister MOHF Shahjahan (Congress) by a margin of 7,229 votes, Mr. Namassivayam pocketed Mannadipet defeating A. Krishnan (DMK) by a margin of 2,750 votes - the DMK leader had in fact lost to AINRC's TPR Selvame in 2016 by a narrow margin of 419 votes.

John Kumar, who also managed to wangle the Nellithope seat for his son and political novice Richards John Kumar (BJP), has shown his clout with voters by playing a hand in his son's win from there and further add to the BJP's tally.

Richards defeated V. Karthikeyan (DMK) by a margin of 496 votes.

The next round of counting will decide the fate of Raj Bhavan constituency where K. Lakshminarayanan (AINRC) is the sitting legislator and has significant sway.

Among the other influential leaders who quit the Congress were former Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao and former Speaker V.P. Sivakolundhu, neither of whom are contesting though.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 5:33:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry-assembly/defectors-turn-game-changers-in-puducherry/article34464538.ece

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