CPI state Secretary R Viswanathan is the nominee for the Left parties to contest the Puducherry Lok Sabha seat, following announcement by D Pandian, national executive member and Tamil Nadu State secretary of CPI.
The Left parties CPI, CPM, Forward Bloc and RSP had decided to field Viswanthan, who had earlier been the Agriculture Minister from 1996-1999 in the DMK-TMC-CPI government led by R V Janakiraman. He also held the portfolios of Social Welfare, Rural Development and Fire Service. The 65-year-old leader with an educational qualification of PUC began his work as a clerk in Puducherry Cooperative dairy and then in Bharathi Mills. He entered the political arena in 1968 by joining CPI.
In the past 38 years of his party term, he had been state general secretary of Kissan Sabha, president of AITUC and CPI national council member. Viswanathan, who would be contesting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, earlier won the Assembly elections four times from Reddiarpalayam constituency.