Oussudu Independent retires from contest

PONDICHERRY, APRIL 29. Mr. N. Marimuthu, who filed his nomination as Independent in the Oussudu (reserved) segment for the Assembly poll, retired from contest and promises to woo the voters to support the TMC nominee, Mr. P. Sundararaju, in the constituency. Mr. Marimuthu, in a press communication on Saturday, said he retired at the instance of the Congress.

Mr. Marimuthu, who had held the seat as a Congress representative between 1991 and 1996, was defeated in the last polls by the TMC candidate, the late Nagarathinam.

In a 1998 by-election, the TMC retained the seat. But its winning candidate, Mr. Elumalai quit the TMC and joined the new-born Puducherry Makkal Congress last year.

In the present poll, the Congress allotted the constituency to the TMC to field its candidate.

Mr. P. Moorthy, sponsored by the TMC, filed his nomination on the last day last week only to be told that his papers rejected, as he is a migrant scheduled caste.

Mr. Sundararaju, dummy candidate of the TMC, is now official nominee.

Mr. Narayanaswamy, Congress leader, said in a press statement that Mr. Marimuthu was readmitted into the party and the disciplinary action had since been dropped.

Oussudu witnesses a fight among the TMC, the PMC and the PMK.

The Congress contests 21 seats, the TMC seven and the CPI two in the Union Territory.

More than any party, the PMK attaches greater significance to Pondicherry. It seeks to annex all 10 seats it is contesting in alliance with the AIADMK.

The PMK is cherishing ambition of heading the government during the first half of a five-year term.

The Chhatisgarh Chief Minister, Mr.Ajit Jogi, would campaign in Tirubhuvanai, Embalam and Bahoor (all reserved segments) tomorrow seeking support for the secular front candidates in the Union Territory.

He is also scheduled to address public meetings, a source said today.

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