Puducherry

Who will Congress pick? Suspense builds

A.V. Subramanian

A.V. Subramanian  

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AINRC decides on fielding K. Narayanasamy for now

Electioneering is set to gather momentum this weekend as the Congress, which is the ruling party in Puducherry, and the the All India N.R. Congress, the principal Opposition party in the Assembly, have reached the final stage in candidate selection for the lone Lok Sabha seat from the Union Territory.

The AlNRC has decided to field K. Narayanasamy, a young doctor and son of former Legislator K. Kesavan, whose family owns a private medical college, for the Puducherry Lok Sabha seat.

A last-minute change could happen if the Congress springs a surprise by fielding a heavy-weight considering the caste equations in the Union Territory, said an AINRC functionary.

The party opened its election office at Reddiyarpalayam on Wednesday. Besides AINRC chief and former Chief Minister N. Rangasamy and party MLAs, leaders belonging to its alliance partners the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Bharatiya Janata Party attended the inaugural function.

Leading contenders

In the ruling camp, although Speaker V. Vaithilingam’s name was first in the reckoning as a candidate a few weeks ago, it appeared now that the former Minister A.V. Subramanian has become the front-runner of the ticket.

Mr. Subramanian, a resident of Karaikal, had served as Education Minister in 2001-02. He held the post of Deputy Speaker from 1991 to 1996 and was an MLA from 1996 to 1999. He served as Deputy Speaker from 2002 to 2006.

He also served twice as the chief of Pradesh Congress Committee.

As parties prepare for the announcement of the candidate, the Election Department is going ahead with the crackdown on posters, flex boards and banners. Along with the removal of banner items, the District Electoral Office has started defacement of compound walls.

District Electoral Officer-cum-Collector T. Arun told The Hindu that so far they had removed around 3,000 banners and flex boards.

He said a notification had been issued fixing rates as part of expenditure ceiling for political parties during campaign. The rates have been fixed for around 400 items, including conducting public meetings, use of flags, banners, chairs, stage and vehicles.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:16:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/who-will-congress-pick-suspense-builds/article26525380.ece

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