PUDUCHERRY: The BJP’s hopes of forging a grand alliance to capture power in Puducherry appears remote with the NR Congress failing to come to an agreement with its NDA partner.
With the deadline for the response from NR Congress founder leader N Rangasamy expiring on Friday, the regional party appears all set to breakaway from the NDA and contest alone if last ditch efforts by the BJP do not succeed.
The BJP's reluctance to declare him the Chief Ministerial candidate of the alliance has been the primary reason for the fallout. For Rangasamy, a former Chief Minister, this was the key as he seeks to come to power once again at the fag end of his political career.
Though the BJP managed to get half a dozen Congress and DMK MLAs in their fold, it is the promise of Chief Ministership to former PWD Minister A Namassivayam, who was the number two man in the Congress government headed by V Narayanasamy, that has led to the roadblock in the formalization of the BJP’s alliance with the NR Congress.
There is also a fear among NR Congress leaders of losing out on minority votes, if the party contests in alliance with the BJP. The electorate being small in Puducherry, even a few votes could decide victory or defeat. The NR Congress leader therefore feels his party has better chances of winning more seats by going it alone than limiting himself to just over half the seats offered in the NDA alliance.
Rangasamy, a spiritual man, after making a pilgrimage to temples and samadhis of seers has now settled down to the idea of contesting alone. Even if the Congress-DMK alliance breaks, he is not likely to join hands with the DMK.
However, the BJP's prospects of coming to power still remain alive as the NR Congress is unlikely to close all its doors with the NDA by joining the DMK or SDA. It's likely to keep options open for a post poll alliance with the BJP, highly placed sources said.
If the NR Congress gets a mandate or wins a substantial number of seats, it would desire to ally with the BJP, the party in power at the Centre, to form the government in the UT. After seeing the fate of the Congress government headed by Narayanasamy, Rangasamy would not risk souring his relations with the BJP.
It would be of interest to the BJP also, if the NDA on its own cannot form a government after the polls. In such a case, the BJP could still be in power along with its allies and NR Congress. Both the parties are discussing an understanding in this regard, by leaving the decision on leader of the alliance and the issue of Chief Minister after the poll results, sources said.