Puducherry: Narayanasamy out of contest, BJP fields Congress rebels

Chennai: Former Puducherry CM Narayanasamy is unlikely to contest in the April 6 Assembly elections to the Union Territory, if the Congress first list is anything to go by. The Congress high command in New Delhi late on Tuesday released a list of 14 candidates in which Narayansamy’s name was missing. Only one more candidate needs to be nominated by the national party.

The Congress, which is in alliance with the DMK, is contesting in 15 of the 30 seats in Puducherry. While the DMK will field candidates in 13 constituencies, the other allies VCK and CPI will contest in one seat each.

Sources in Puducherry Congress claimed that Narayanasamy could well opt out of the race. The Congress had contested in 21 seats in 2016 and won 15 but this time the number of seats it is contesting has come down. “Narayanasamy has opted out because of the perception that he was only fighting with then Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi for much of his tenure. But since the candidate for one seat is yet to be named we can never say for sure if he will be out,” said a Congress source.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which had zero elected representatives in the last Assembly, has accommodated Congress rebels such as A Namassivayam and John Kumar, who had resigned as MLAs and joined the party leading to the fall of the Narayansamy govt recently.

The BJP is contesting in alliance with the All India N R Congress founded by former Chief Minister N Rangasamy – an ex-Congressman – and the AIADMK. While AINRC is leading the alliance, the BJP had outwitted the AIADMK as the second player in the alliance.

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