Nellithope: a marker of hard bargaining within NDA allies

In a bizarre development, allies within the NDA stand as adversaries at the moment in the Nellithope Assembly segment with the candidates of the BJP and the AIADMK filing nominations for the seat on Monday.

This comes against the backdrop of the NDA agreement allotting 16 seats to AINRC and the BJP staking claim for a larger slice of the 14-seat pie it has to share with the AIADMK.

Om Sakthi Sekar of the AIADMK and his son Tamil Sengolan filed their nominations for Nellithope while son of A. John Kumar, now with the BJP — J. Vivilian Richards — also submitted the nominations for the seat.

Meanwhile, on the rival Congress-DMK-Left front, the DMK has fielded V. Karthikeyan for Nellithope, from where former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy had won in a byelection in 2016. Mr. John Kumar, who was then Congress MLA representing the constituency, had vacated the seat.

Now, Mr. John Kumar is contesting from Kamaraj Nagar while his sons have filed nominations in Nellithope.

These moves could signify that Nellithope could be a marker of hard bargaining in the negotiations for other constituencies between the BJP and the AIADMK.

As per the ECI schedule, the last date for filing nominations is March 19; scrutiny is on March 20 and final date for withdrawal of nominations on March 22.

Meanwhile, in the rival Congress-DMK-Left camp, Nellithope has been chosen by DMK which has been allotted 13 to the 15 seats for Congress. The DMK has fielded a new face V. Karthikeyan in Nellithope.

“The party has agreed to support our candidature,” Mr. John Kumar said. The necessary A and B forms would be submitted to the returning officer on Tuesday, he said.

According to Mr. John Kumar, the margin of victory in 2016 when he defeated Om Sakthi Sekar by over 6,000 votes — apart from his win from Kamaraj Nagar in the 2019 byelection by over 7,000 votes — vindicated his claim to field his son from Nellithope.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 1:30:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/nellithope-a-marker-of-hard-bargaining-within-nda-allies/article34082054.ece

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