Puducherry AINRC candidate is NDA Pick, says BJP Leader
After days of confusion, BJP’s National Executive Member and in-charge of Puducherry, Dr K Laxman, on Monday said the All India NR Congress (AINRC) nominee R Radhakrishnan was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the lone Lok Sabha seat here.
Speaking to Express over phone, he said: “We have an alliance with AINRC in Puducherry and its candidate is the official candidate for NDA. We have a six-party alliance in Tamil Nadu but it has nothing to do with Puducherry.”
Though both the AINRC and the PMK had announced their candidates as both want to support Narendra Modi as prime minister, the matter would be resolved amicably, he said.
“We will sit together and settle the matter through dialogue to put up a united fight against the Congress,” he said. The confusion would end before the filing of nomination papers, he said and added that he would be visiting Puducherry to end the ambiguity.
Earlier in the day, the PMK said it would field RKR Anantharaman as its candidate from Puducherry, claiming it had received the go-ahead from the BJP high command. It was not clear whom they were talking to, as the person authorised to take the final call was K Laxman.
“It is only the local BJP chief who is going around saying the BJP will back the NR Congress candidate. The BJP high command gave us the go-ahead to announce the candidate,” said a well-placed source in the PMK.
The formal announcement came in the form of statement signed by PMK president GK Mani on Monday. The statement said the announcement was being made with the approval of both party founder S Ramadoss and his son Anbumani. This gains significance against the backdrop of the difference in opinion between father and son over the alliance with the BJP.
The source also confirmed that now that the candidate has been announced, there would be no question of pulling out of the race for Puducherry.
“The question of withdrawing does not arise. We are officially with the NDA, and our candidate will receive support, not only from allies, but also from the people,” said the source.
Amid all this confusion, Tamil Nadu NDA ally and DMDK chief A Vijayakant took the prudent path of cancelling his campaign in Puducherry scheduled for Tuesday.
For, supporting the AINRC could upset the PMK with which it already has a tenuous relationship.
Vishwakarmas to back AINRC
Puducherry: Despite the confusion over the official NDA candidate in Puducherry, AINRC candidate R Radhakrishnan has gained a leaf with Vishwakarma Munnetra Kazhagam announcing its support to him. “We have formed campaign committees in 14 constituencies in Puducherry and will kick off the campaign shortly,” said its general secretary D Saravanan at a press conference on Monday. The Viswakarma community in Puducherry comprises artisans and constitutes around 13 percent of the electors, he said. The government led by N Rangasamy had taken good care of the welfare of artisans and as a result the community would back the party candidate, he added.