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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Puducherry’s Choice: National over Secular


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Held in a single phase on April 6th, the assembly elections in the Union Territory of Puducherry saw a voter turnout of 81.69%, with 8,20,323 of the registered 10.04 lakh voters, having exercised their franchise by the time polling closed at the 1,558 polling stations of the UT. Both the opinion polls and the exit polls had given an edge to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the Indian National Congress (INC) led Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA). And now, putting an end to all speculations, the All India NR Congress (AINRC) led NDA has secured a majority in the UT and is all set to form the government.

According to the final results declared by the Election Commission on Sunday, with the AINRC and the BJP winning 10, and 6 seats respectively, the NDA has secured a simple majority. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) won 6 seats whereas the INC won only 2 seats. Interestingly, 6 seats have also been snatched by independent candidates; something which no pollster had anticipated. This will also be the first time in the history of Puducherry that the Assembly is going to house six independent candidates. It is worth mentioning here that the centre nominated the other three members of the Puducherry Assembly, having 33 seats.

The highest rise in vote share of 11.26% has been attained by the BJP, which has secured 13.66% of popular votes. Similarly AINRC has seen a drop of 3% with its 25.85% vote share. Unfortunately for the SDA, both the INC and the AIDMK have seen humongous drops in votes and have achieved 15.71% and 4.14% of popular votes respectively.

Assembly Constituency Candidate Party Votes Percentage
District Puducherry
Mannadipet A Namasivvayan BJP 51.82%
Thirubuvanai P Angalane Independent 36.78%
Ossudu J Saravama Kumar BJP 48.78%
Mangalam C Jayakumar AINRC 50.89%
Villianur R Siva DMK 55.73%
Ozhukarai M Sivasankar Independent 36.5%
Kadirkamam S Ramesh AINRC 65.82%
Indira Nagar V Arumugam AINRC 74.77%
Thattanchavady N Rangaswamy AINRC 55.02%
Kamaraj Nagar A Johnkumar BJP 56.11%
Lawspet M Vaithianathan INC 55.6%
Kalapet PML Kalyanasundaram BJP 44.63%
Muthialpet J Prakash Kumar Independent 37.48%
Raj Bhavan K Lakshminarayanan AINRC 51.86%
Oupalam V Anipaul Kennedy DMK 56.64%
Orleampeth G Nehru Kuppusamy Independent 47.29%
Nellithope Vivilian Richards Johnkumar BJP 42.26%
Mudaliarpet L Sambath DMK 51.3%
Ariankuppam R Baskar Datchanamourtty AINRC 54.32%
Manavely Embalam R Selvam BJP 57.54%
Embalam U Lakshmikandhan AINRC 50.85%
Nettapakam P Rajavelu AINRC 56.82%
Bahour R Senthilkumar DMK 44.56%
Karaikal District
Nedungadu S Chandra Priyanga AINRC 40.2%
Thirunallar PR Siva Independent 36.54%
Karaikal North PRN Thirumurugan AINRC 44.85%
Karaikal South AMH Nazeem DMK 71.15%
Neravy TR Pattinam M Nagathiyagarajan DMK 55.74%
Mahe District
Mahe Ramesh Parambath INC 41.63%
Yanam District
Yanam Gollapalli Srinivas Ashok Independent 49.04%

The BJP will be a major part of the government of Puducherry for the first time having won six of the nine seats it contested in. BJP helping AINRC in seizing the power from the INC will also be a crucial opening for the party in the south. Notably, BJP leader A Namasivvayan’s claim that ‘no party can form government in the UT without the help of BJP’ has been proved accurate.

On the other hand, the INC has been completely decimated with their earlier seat share of 15 droppings to a meagre 2, after many of its eminent leaders and office-bearing MLAs defected to BJP. Earlier this year, just weeks before the end of the assembly’s tenure, crisis struck the Congress as opposition leader N Rangaswamy and 13 other MLAs called on Raj Nivas and submitted a letter to the Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundaranjan, claiming that the government has lost its majority. This came after four Congress MLAs, A Namasivvayan, E Theeppainjan, John Kumar, and Malladi Krishna Rao tendered their resignations. Then Chief Minister, V Narayanasamy, had resigned as CM right ahead of the floor test on 22nd of February 2021. Shri Narayanasamy had also accused the defectors of being an opportunist and had said that “the saffron party was up to its old tricks of toppling democratically elected governments’ again.”

The UT is currently under President’s Rule after the collapse of the INC government. Owing to the intense political power play that had led to the election, all eyes were on the Puducherry Assembly Election 2021 results. And now, with the AINRC’s spectacular return, N Rangaswamy will take the reign of the UT in his hands, as Chief Minister of Puducherry, yet again. Although not much has been said about the oath-taking ceremony, it is expected to be a simple and low-key affair with all Covid-19 protocols in place.

After the unprecedented keen political contest witnessed by the state, whether citizens of the UT will stand by their elected government or Puducherry will see yet another political crisis remains a question.


[author title=”Megha Satapathy” image=”https://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/IMG_20210205_095950.jpg”]Intern, Goa Chronicle[/author]

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

Megha Satapathy
Megha Satapathy
"An orator, musician, bibliophile, and above all a nationalist. At 17, the author believes that anyone can make a difference in the universe, if they are daring enough!"

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