Puducherry: BJP equals AINRC’s strength after nomination of 3 MLAs

The number of BJP legislators in the Puducherry Assembly has gone up to nine after the Union Home Ministry nominated 3 party leaders as legislators to the House.

The BJP had six elected legislators while one Independent MLA had already extended his support to the saffron party. With the latest addition, BJP now has a total strength of 10 in the legislative Assembly, which is equivalent to that of its ally AINRC.

It is to be noted that the BJP did not allot any of its three nominated posts to its ally AINRC.

The nominated MLAs are K. Venkatesan, a former DMK MLA who had resigned and joined the BJP; V.P. Ramalingam, the brother of former Speaker V.P. Sivakozhunthu, who joined the BJP on the eve of the Assembly elections; and advocate R.B. Ashok Babu, the party’s city unit president and a practicing lawyer.

The strength of the NDA has now increased to 20 in the 33-member House with the DMK having six MLAs, the Congress two besides five Independents.

There are possibilities that the five Independent MLAs might join the saffron camp, which will make it easier for the BJP to bargain for the post of Chief Minister with AINRC leader N. Rangasamy.

Mahe-based journalist and social worker K. Asokan told IANS, “There are possibilities of BJP poaching the remaining five Independent MLAs and increasing its floor strength. This means the BJP is ahead of its partner AINRC, but it will be suicidal for the party if it tries to oust Rangasamy from the CM’s post as in that case the latter might go with the DMK and the Congress to save his government. Puducherry will witness interesting political developments in the days to come.”