With the Union Territory’s assembly elections less than a month away, the Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) has finalised a seat-sharing agreement in an attempt to reclaim power after an abrupt end to their rule earlier this year. The Congress, as the SPA’s chief, will run for 15 seats, while the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will run for 13. The Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Vidutha Party (VDP) got one seat each.
However, it is a loss for the Congress, which ran for 21 seats in the 2016 assembly elections and won 15. The DMK had fought on nine occasions, but had only gained two. The seat-sharing talks began on March 7, but quickly hit a snag when the DMK requested more seats, citing recent Congress party desertions a month prior.
Meanwhile, in the NDA camp, the All India NR Congress is leading from the front and will contest 16 seats, with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam sharing the remaining 14 seats.
Nirmal Kumar Surana, the BJP’s Puducherry in-charge, announced on Tuesday that the NDA would run in the UT elections under the leadership of AINRC chief N Rangaswamy. “The AINR Congress, BJP, and AIADMK will run together in the polls. The AINRC will run for 16 seats, while the BJP and AIADMK will run for 14. In Puducherry, we will have elections under the leadership of N Rangaswamy,” Surana said.
The Puducherry Assembly elections are scheduled for April 6, with results expected on May 2.