PUDUCHERRY: Even though the final announcement on allocation of seats within the NDA as well as the Secular Democratic Alliance is yet to be made, sitting MLAs as well as prospective candidates began filing nominations on Monday as the day is considered auspicious.
What is intriguing is that both AIADMK and BJP candidates have filed their nominations for the Nellithope seat as a dispute persists over seat allocation in the NDA.
The Nellithope seat is desired by both the BJP and AIADMK in the NDA. Ex-MLA Om Sakthi Segar of the AIADMK, who won the seat in 2011 but lost to A John Kumar in 2016, filed his nomination before Director of Industries Y L N Reddy, who is the returning officer for the constituency.
Vivian Richards, the son of MLA A John Kumar, also filed his nomination on a BJP ticket for Nellithope constituency. With two candidates from the same alliance filing papers for the seat, the suspense over who would be the final official candidate of the alliance continues. It would become clear on the day of withdrawal.
After winning the Nellithope seat in 2016, John Kumar vacated it for former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who won a byelection from here. John Kumar, despite vacating the seat for Narayanasamy, kept in touch with the people as well as nurtured the constituency. Now, he is desirous of his son contesting the seat.
Though Narayanasamy is the sitting MLA for the constituency, he is not contesting the seat nor is any other Congressman. It is being contested by another debutant V Karthikeyan of the DMK as part of th Congress-DMK alliance. Karthikeyan also filed his nomination on Monday.
Former Chief Minister N Rangasamy files nomination from Thattanchavady, to contest from Yanam also
Former Chief Minister and NR Congress President N Rangasamy filed his nomination from Thattanchavady constituency before Registrar of Cooperative Societies L Mohamad Mansoor, the returning officer for the constituency, on Monday. He said he will also file nominations from Yanam constituency on Wednesday. Former Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao who resigned as MLA and opted out of the contest extended support to Rangasamy to contest the seat.
Though he is the sitting MLA from Indira Nagar, yet he fielded V Arumughan, who joined the NR Congress after leaving the Congress recently. In the 2016 elections, Rangasamy defeated Arumugham who contested on a Congress ticket to win Indira Nagar. Arumugham also filed his nomination on the NR Congress ticket for Indira Nagar constituency.
It may be noted that in the 2011 assembly elections Rangasamy contested in Kadirkamam and Indira Nagar constituencies and won both. Later, he vacated Kadirkamam constituency and retained Indira Nagar, which he won in 2016 also.
Now he is contesting from Thattanchavady, which NR Congress candidate Ashok Anand won in 2016. Anand was disqualified after he was convicted in a disproportionate assets case. The DMK’s Venkatesan won the byelection, but now he has joined the BJP and is likely to contest the seat.
Former Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister K Lakshminarayanan filed his nomination for Raj Bhavan constituency on the NR Congress ticket before P Priyatarshny, the Director of Tourism, who is the returning officer. He won the seat in 2016 and 2011 as a Congress candidate. He resigned as MLA a day before the Congress government fell. Prior to that he was elected from Cassicade constituency in 2001(PMC) and 2006 (PMC). Cassicade was later merged with Raj Bhavan after delimitation of constituencies.
Lakshminarayanan, a former Education, Revenue and Tourism Minister, would be pitted against former Education Minister S P Sivakumar of the DMK in Congress-DMK alliance. Sivakumar who won all elections from 1996 till 2006, however, has not contested the seat since the Raj Bhavan seat went to the Congress in 2011, following delimitation of constituencies.
All 12 DMK nominees file nominations
DMK South Convenor and Orleanpet MLA R Siva filed his nomination from Villianur constituency. The three-time MLA who won the Orleanpet seats in 2001, 2006 and 2016 would be contesting the Villianur constituency for the first time. All the 12 DMK nominees filed their nominations on Monday.
After the Bahour candidate is finalized among the shortlisted candidates, he will file the nomination, said Siva.
AIADMK MLA Vaiyapuri Manikandan filed his nomination for the Muthialpet Assembly constituency before the returning officer P Priyartarshny on Monday. He is the sitting MLA for the constituency. Pitted against him will be a Congress candidate, which the party is yet to announce.
For the Congress, Government Whip R K R Anantharaman and T Jayamurthy filed their nominations to contest Manavely and Ariyankuppam constituencies. Both are sitting MLAs who would seek to retain the seats they won in 2016.