At the end of February 2021, the Election Commission of India had announced the schedule for 2021 General Elections to State Legislative Assemblies of four states (Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal) and one Union Territory (Puducherry).
In Puducherry, the stage is set for polling in 30 constituencies on April 6, 2021. The counting of votes will be done on May 2, 2021.
The Congress, which heads the Secular Democratic Alliance in the union territory, was allotted 15 of the 30 Assembly seats and its ally DMK has been allocated 13 seats.
VCK and CPI, the other constituents of the alliance, have been given one seat each. However, the list did not contain the name of the party veteran and former chief minister V Narayanasamy.
The All India N.R. Congress (AINRC) is contesting 16 seats, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 9 seats and the remaining 5 seats by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The NDA had announced N.Rangaswami, former Chief Minister and President of AINRC, as the Chief Ministerial candidate and ever since the BJP alliance has been hitting the right chord.
In the 30-member Assembly, the saffron party has hardly a member but has always been backed by 3 nominated members.
As many as 324 candidates are left in the fray for the April 6 Assembly poll in Puducherry, said the Department of Election on Monday.
Fifty-eight candidates out of 382 candidates, whose nominations were found to be in order at the end of scrutiny of nominations on March 20, withdrew their nominations today, the last day to withdraw candidatures.
Most of the candidates who withdrew their nominations were Independents.
N Rangasamy, the AINRC leader, is among the key contestants and is seeking election from two segments – Thattanchavady in Puducherry region and Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry, in Andhra Pradesh.
AINRC heading NDA has fielded candidates in 16 of the total 30 constituencies.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the AIADMK – the other constituents of the NDA – are contesting from nine and five constituencies respectively.
Congress heading the Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) has fielded candidates in 14 seats out of the 15 constituencies allotted.
The Congress is supporting an Independent candidate Gollapalli Srinivas Ashok in Yanam.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a major partner in SDA, is contesting in 13 constituencies. The VCK and CPI – the other constituents of the alliance – have fielded one candidate each in Oulgaret and Thattanchavady segments respectively.
Pattali Makkal Katchi has withdrawn its candidates from all the 10 seats it had sought to contest and announced its support to the AINRC-headed NDA here, a source in the PMK said.
In the 2016 assembly polls, Congress had won 15 seats, All India NR Congress eight seats, AIADMK got four seats, DMK walked away with two MLAs. BJP could not win any seats.
(With inputs from agencies)