PMK Vs BJP in Pondy

Published on Apr 08, 2004 08:46 PM IST

In this tradition Congress citadel, it shall now be a contest between PMK and BJP. Though Congress was not happy the promise of a Rajya Sabha seat has eased the tensions.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Pondicherry

The denial of the lone Lok Sabha seat in this tiny union territory by the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance to Congress, which is ruling the Union Territory, raised lot of heat and dust but the promise of a Rajya Sabha seat to the party cooled down the frayed tempers of Congress cadre, who are now working for the victory of its ally, the Pattali Makkal Katchi.

With just 6.36 lakh voters, this union territory has voters not only in Pondicherry but also in other enclaves like far away Karaikal, Yanam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahe in Kerala state.

Pondicherry has always been the citadel of the Congress as in the last 12 elections to the Lok Sabha, Congress candidates had won from here for nine times. The AIADMK captured the seat in a bypoll in 1974 and retained the same in 1977 also. The DMK won the seat in 1998.

Even before the poll notification was announced by the Election Commission, PMK, the foe-turned-friend of the DMK, managed to get seven seats, including the lone Pondicherry seat from its big partner, DMK.

This triggered lot of protests from many prominent Congress leaders who even threatened to put up a rival Congress candidate to oppose the PMK. After several rounds of behind-the-scene negotiations, Congress was promised a safe Rajya Sabha seat, following which the noise and chaos settled down.

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