Puducherry

Puducherry Assembly Elections | Presence of rebels worries NDA

The AINRC, led by N. Rangasamy, has warned independent candidates against using the party symbol or images of party leaders in their campaign.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The National Democratic Alliance, though upbeat about capturing “anti-incumbency” votes against the previous Congress-DMK government, is equally concerned about the presence of AINRC rebels in the fray and the prospect of losing minority votes.

The electoral entry of three AINRC members in Orleanpet, Muthialpet, Thirunallar and the presence of AINRC chief N. Rangasamy’s two supporters at Thirubuvanai and Kalapet are giving anxious moments to the NDA constituents — the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

While AINRC’s former legislator G. Nehru is contesting from Orleanpet as an Independent where the AIADMK has fielded former legislator Om Sakthi Sekar, in Muthialpet J. Prakash Kumar, formerly of AINRC, is contesting as an Independent and could upset the plans of AIADMK MLA Vayyapuri Manikantan, who is seeking re-election.

Similarly, P.R. Siva, a former Minister, is in the fray from Thirunallar as an Independent. The BJP has fielded S. Rajasekaran from the constituency.

Though not active members of the AINRC, the presence of Mr. Rangasamy’s former supporters as Independents in the Thirubuvanai and Kalapat segments cannot be brushed away by the NDA, which hopes to capture power. In Thirubuvanai, AINRC has fielded B. Kobiga, where former legislator and Mr. Rangasamy’s supporter P. Angalane is contesting as an Independent.

In Kalapet, Rangasamy’s supporter A. Senthil is contesting as an Independent against BJP nominee and former Minister P.M.L. Kalyanasundaram.

Rebels warned

“Our general secretary has warned party workers against associating with three of our rebel candidates. If they continue to use party flags or the name of our leader, legal action will be initiated against them. As far as the other two members are concerned, they are not members of the AINRC,” said a member of the principal Opposition party.

For the AIADMK, it is not just the presence of AINRC rebels alone that is a cause of concern. The party is also worried about which way the large chunk of minorities in Muthialpet, Uppalam, Orleanpet and Karaikal (South) will vote.

In Muthialpet, Uppalam and Karaikal (South), there was a huge shift in the minority votes in the last Lok Sabha poll, in which party had an alliance with the BJP.

Similarly, the AINRC is concerned about a significant chunk of minority votes in Villianur and Mahe.

The minority votes constitute 12.6% of the total votes and could be a deciding factor in at least eight constituencies.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 12:55:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry-assembly/puducherry-elections-presence-of-rebels-fate-of-minority-votes-a-concern-for-nda/article34152190.ece

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