With a six in Puducherry, BJP helps NDA win
Puducherry, May 03: The Bharatiya Janata Party will be part of the government in Puducherry for the first time ever after having annexed six seats to grab power as part of the NDA in the April 6 assembly polls.
The saffron party won six of the nine seats it contested while its ally AINRC led by former chief minister N Rangasamy bagged 10 as the NDA emerged victorious in 16 segments in the 30-member territorial Assembly.
Sixteen is the number required for a simple majority in the Puducherry assembly.
The BJP, last had representation in the assembly in the 1990s.
Among the prominent winners for the BJP was former PWD Minister A Namassivayam, who till recently was with the Congress.
Namassivayam contested from Mannadipet, a new constituency for him as he all along fought electoral battles either from Villianoor or Uzhavarkarai.
He had quit the Congress on January 25 and shifted his allegiance to BJP in the presence of the BJP national president J P Nadda here.
His defection from the Congress to the BJP paved the way for a good number of then Congress legislators to quit and move to the Saffron party or the AINRC.
The other BJP nominees who were successful at the hustings were A John Kumar (Kamaraj Nagar) his son Richards John Kumar (Nellithope), P M L Kalyanasundaram a former AINRC legislator (Kalapet), 'Embalam' Selvam (Manavely) and Ak Sai J Saravanan Kumar (Oussudu-reserved).
The only blip in an otherwise creditable performance by the BJP was the defeat of Puducherry unit president V Saminathan at the hands of Congress candidate M Vaithianathan in Lawspet.
While things appeared to look up for BJP, things have gone downhill for the Congress which headed the previous government in alliance with the DMK.
The national party was decimated as it could win only two of the 14 seats it contested while its ally DMK picked up six.
The Ranagasamy-led AINRC, which contested 16 seats and emerged victorious in 10 of them, must thank the BJP for enabling the NDA to seize power in the union territory.
Interestingly, six independents emerged successful with Gollapalli Ashok Srinivas managing to shock chief ministerial candidate Rangasamy in Yanam.
This is the first time in the history of the Puducherry Assembly that it would have six independents.