DMK, AIADMK ready for showdown
Pondicherry, Apr 10: Arch rivals DMK and AIADMK will lock horns in eight constituencies in the assembly elections in the Union Territory, while the Congress will take on the AIADMK in seven constituencies.
The DMK and AIADMK are contesting against each other in Orleanpet, Nellithoppe, Karaikal(north), Neravi, Ouppalam, Muthialpet, Mannadipet and Ossudu.
The Congress would take on AIADMK in Thattanchavady, Lawspet, Ozhukarai, Kottucherry, Mahe, Palloor and Yanam.
The CPI is contesting against AIADMK in Reddiyarpalayam.
The CPI(M) will wage a lone battle in one or two seats. In the 2001 elections, the party had unsucessfully contested from Ariyankuppam, Thirubhuvanai(SC) and Palloor constituencies.
This is the first time after the 1980 elections, that the Congress and DMK have forged an alliance.
In the 1980 elections, DMK had won 14 seats and the Congress ten and formed a DMK-led coalition Government headed by D Ramachandran.
The Congress subsequently fought all the elections in alliance with the AIADMK, till 2001.
The DMK-Congress alliance has once again proved the inability of the Congress to bargain. The DMK, securing an additional four seats over its seven sitting MLAs, is an indication to the Congress that the party, will only settle for a coalition Government, if the DPA is voted to power.
The DMK, obtaining the Ossudu and Mannadipet constituencies along with Muthialpet and Ouppalam, had virtually denied a chance to the local administration minister A Ezhumalai and Speaker M D R Ramachandran to contest the elections.
Mr Ezhumalai, who was elected on the Puducherry Makkal Congress (PMC) ticket, became a Congress member, when the PMC founder P Kannan, merged his party with the Congress. Mr Ramachandran was elected on the AIADMK ticket.
Despite the withdrawal of AIADMK's support to the N Rangasamy Government, Mr Ramachandran did not obey the party's direction to resign. Instead, he continued as the Speaker. Later he quit the AIADMK and joined the Congress.
With DMK getting both the Ossudu and Mannadipet constituencies, Mr Ezhumali and Ramachandran are bound to switch over, if they intend to contest. Muthialpet and Ouppalam constituencies are held by AIADMK.