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Puducherry bypoll: National BJP intervention prevents NDA collapse in UT

Cracks appeared in Puducherry NDA when the local unit of the BJP-- upset over AIADMK’s decision to allot Kamaraj Nagar assembly bypoll seat to All India NR Congress party of former Chief Minister N Rangasamy—invited applications to field a rival candidate.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2019 23:33 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Former Puducherry CM N Rangasamy’s party will contest the Kamraj Nagar bypoll  after a poll pact with AIADMK instead of the BJP
Former Puducherry CM N Rangasamy’s party will contest the Kamraj Nagar bypoll after a poll pact with AIADMK instead of the BJP(PTI Photo/File)
         

BJP-AIADMK alliance in Puducherry came back from the brink of a likely collapse after the National leadership of the saffron party intervened to save the day on Friday.

Cracks appeared in Puducherry NDA when the local unit of the BJP-- upset over AIADMK’s decision to allot Kamaraj Nagar assembly bypoll seat to All India NR Congress party of former Chief Minister N Rangasamy—invited applications to field a rival candidate.

Puducherry BJP president was miffed by the AIADMK’s surprise announcement of a poll pact with Rangasamy’s AINRC.

The deal was clinched after Rangasamy’s meeting with Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in Chennai. The saffron party was upset that it was not kept in the loop.

It took the national BJP leadership to calm the frayed nerves in the local unit.

“We had to abide by the national leadership of the party. Being an all India party, we cannot act independently. The high command has taken the decision after ascertaining our views. Our allies too met us and we have ensured our support to them,” Puducherry BJP president V Saminathan said.

The AINRC leaders also met the state BJP leaders to salvage the situation.

The Kamaraj Nagar seat fell vacant after the incumbent V Vaithilingam, speaker of the Territorial Assembly, got elected to the Lok Sabha from the Puducherry seat.

Though the BJP is a marginal player in the state, it was eyeing the seat to increase its visibility and presence even if it meant fielding a winnable candidate from outside the party, sources in the party said.

In the last assembly election, the BJP secured around 600 votes in the constituency that has little over 30,000 voters.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 23:10 IST

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