Puducherry: AINRC seals alliance with BJP & AIADMK; to contest 16 seats

Puducherry: Ending days of suspense, the opposition AINRC in Puducherry on Tuesday firmed up alliance with the BJP and AIADMK for next month's assembly elections and exuded confidence that the coalition will emerge victorious at the hustings.

The chief ministerial candidate for the front will be decided post-election, the BJP said.

Single phase polling to 30 seats in this union territory is scheduled on April 6.

According to the agreeement reached by the three parties, AINRC, headed by former Chief Minister N Rangasamy will contest from 16 seats, with the rest being allotted to the other two constituents.

Earlier, the issue of CM candidate was said to be bothering the AINRC whose workers had wanted their founder Rangasamy to be declared so, amid BJP leader A Namassivayam, former PWD minister in the V Narayanasamy government, being projected as a CM face.

Subsequently, Ranagasamy's earlier 'silence' and his guessing game had put a question mark over the NDA coalition, although the AINRC, BJP and AIADMK had stood together on many issues and even faced the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as allies.

In the 2016 elections, the AINRC, BJP and AIADMK had contested on their own. The AINRC won eight seats and the AIADMK four while the BJP drew a blank.

The three parties, however, contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance, but again lost.

On Tuesday, the BJP announced that the AINRC will contest 16 seats in Puducherry as a constituent of the NDA.

After the alliance talks, BJP in-charge of the union territory, Nirmal Kumar Surana told reporters here that negotiations were held by leaders of AINRC, AIADMK and BJP.

The BJP and AIADMK have been allotted the remaining 14 seats.

"These two parties (BJP and AIADMK) would decide the number of seats for each of them," he said.

Surana further said, "The NDA would face the elections here in the name of most successful and popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the alliance is headed in Puducherry by Rangasamy."

Asked who was the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance, Surana said it would be decided post election by the legislature party at that time.

Rangasamy asserted that the NDA headed by AINRC would romp home and form the next government in the Union Territory.

"We will capture large number of seats to form the government. The AINRC, AIADMK and BJP are constituents of the NDA here," he said.

Puducherry State BJP president V Saminathan and AIADMK secretary of Puducherry A Anbalagan were also present at the press meet.

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