26 sitting members contesting
Pondicherry, Apr 15: As many as 26 sitting members of the Territorial Assembly are again in the fray for the May 3 and 8 polls to the Territorial Assembly.
While the Congress has retained 13 sitting members, it axed Local Administration Minister A Ezhumalai (Ossudu) and Neelagangadharan (Embalom), besides speaker M D R Ramachandran (Mannadipet) who quit the AIADMK recently and joined the Congress. Ossudu, Embalom and Mannadipet went to the DMK under the seat-sharing agreement.
The Congress has brought in INTUC leader Ravichandran to oppose Education Minister K Lakshminarayanan, a Puducherry Munnetra Congress candidate at Cassicade. The party accomodated Mr Thirumurgan at Kottucherry constituency in place of his father Nalamaharajan, the MLA who died recently. It also gave a ticket to sitting member Theni Jayakumar, who quit the TMC and joined the Congress. The only newcomers are Ravichandran and Thirumurgan.
No women candidates have been nominated by the Congress-DMK combine while the AIDMK-led alliance has given a chance to two women. Of the five reserved seats, the Congress is contesting three, leaving two to the DMK. In the AIADMK-led front, the DPI is fighting two, while the AIADMK, PMC and MDMK are taking on one each.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) renominated all its seven members. For the extra four seats it managed to get, the party has put up former MLA U C Arumugham from Ouppalam and Nanda Saravanan, a newcomer, for Muthialpet. The party is yet to announce for Ossudu and Embalom. The PMK, which was allotted two seats nominated Anandaraman from Ariyankuppam. He had finished second there in the last elections.
For Mannadipet, the party nominated debututant Arul Murugesan. The CPI nominated former minister R Viswanathan to contest Reddiyarpalayam.
In the AIADMK-led front, the AIADMK renominated both its sitting members Anbazgagan and Kasilingam, apart from A M Krishnamurthy, who quit the BJP and joined the AIADMK. The party has also given a chance to former legislators Natarajan and Arasi. The PMC has nominated three sitting members including independent T Jayamurty, who joined the party recently. Party president and former Minister P Kannan is contesting from Mudaliarpet this time.
In the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA), the Congress is contesting 16, DMK 11, PMK 2 and CPI one, while in the Democratic Peoples Alliance, the AIADMK is contesting 16, PMC 10, MDMK two and DPI two.