PUDUCHERRY: Even though the filing of nominations for contesting in the April 6 Assembly elections began on Friday, both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) in Puducherry were yet to finalise their seat-sharing agreement and identify seats for the alliance partners. No candidate filed nomination papers on the first day.
In the SDA, the Congress and the DMK have agreed to contest in 15 and 13 seats respectively and give two seats to minor allies. The move has caused a disappointment among a section of Congress party functionaries as the party had contested in 21 seats in the previous elections and won 15 of them. They convened a meeting at the party office on Friday morning and adopted a resolution to go it alone in the elections this time.
They also presented the resolution to the core PCC team – president A V Subramanian, former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lok Sabha member V Vaithilingam. Narayanasamy said that the matter had been taken to the notice of the party high command, and that they would take an appropriate decision in this regard.
As the two more seats are expected to be allocated to VCK and CPI, such a decision would leave the CPM disgruntled as the party had already announced it would go it alone in the polls if it did not get any seats. Though the CPM’s chances are dim, the party may cut into the votes of the SDA.
While the time is running out, identification of constituencies is also likely to create differences among the allies. The scene is not any better in the NDA. Though the NR Congress has settled for 16 seats, the talks over sharing the remaining 14 seats between BJP and AIADMK has met an imbroglio.
The AIADMK was initially offered only four seats, which was further reduced to three in order to allocate one for PMK which threatened to go it alone after no seat was allotted for the party. During talks with AIADMK leaders on Thursday evening, Nirmal Kumar Surana, BJP in-charge reportedly stated that the Dravidian party might get only three seats.
All not well?
The AIADMK leaders in the UT, who believe the party could win more seats if it contested alone, left for Chennai on Thursday night to apprise the party high command of the situation in Puducherry. However, both the BJP and the AIADMK claimed that the talks were going smoothly.