Puducherry polls: Embattled Rangasamy banks on ‘alliance with people’ (Curtain Raiser)

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Puducherry, May 15 (IANS) The battle lines are drawn and N. Rangasamy, the incumbent chief minister of this union territory, is banking on his “alliance with the people”. The rivals are mincing no words though, targeting the ruling outfit for closure of factories, job loss and lack of infrastructure development.

Puducherry is scheduled to go to the polls on May 16 (Monday) for the 30-member assembly. Over 941,000 voters will decide the fate of 344 candidates.

In this union territory the Congress-DMK combine is hoping to defeat the ruling All-India NR Congress (AINRC) government headed by Rangasamy.

The parties in the fray include Congress, AINRC, DMK, AIADMK, BJP, CPI, CPI-M, PMK and others.

The main contest is between the Congress-DMK combine and the AINRC.

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In 2011, AINRC had teamed up with the AIADMK. But after the election, AINRC dumped AIADMK and did not share power with the latter.

In her election speeches, AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa stressed that Rangasamy “betrayed” her party and that voting for AINRC will be like committing suicide.

Statehood for Puducherry is also a major issue in this election. While several parties had earlier said they would ensure the statehood, Rangasamy said the Congress or the BJP did not fulfil that promise when they ruled at the Centre.

Rangasamy said his “alliance is with the people” and not with any other political party. And this “alliance” is being spiced up with the freebies that the chief minister is promising.

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The AINRC has promised washing machines to the people if it is voted back to power.

Political observers however say that the presence of the AIADMK and several other parties in the election is likely to split the anti-incumbency votes which would in turn benefit the Congress-DMK combine.



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