Puducherry goes to polls
Over 9.4 lakh voters are expected to exercise their democratic right of voting to elect their representatives
Polling begins to elect the 30-member assembly in Puducherry at 7 a.m. on Monday.
Over 9.4 lakh voters are expected to exercise their democratic right of voting to elect their representatives.
A total of 344 candidates are in the fray.
The main fight is between the Congress-DMK combine and the ruling All India NR Congress (AINRC).
The AIADMK-the ruling party in Tamil Nadu- is going it alone in Puducherry.
Closure of factories, job loss and lack of infrastructure development are the main poll issues in the state against the incumbent Chief Minister N.Rangasany
In this union territory the Congress-DMK combine is hoping to defeat the ruling All-India NR Congress (AINRC) government headed by Rangasamy.
The parties in the fray include Congress, AINRC, DMK, AIADMK, BJP, CPI, CPI-M, PMK and others.
The main contest is between the Congress-DMK combine and the AINRC.
In 2011, AINRC had teamed up with the AIADMK. But after the election, AINRC dumped AIADMK and did not share power with the latter.
In her election speeches, AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa stressed that Rangasamy "betrayed" her party and that voting for AINRC will be like committing suicide.
Statehood for Puducherry is also a major issue in this election. While several parties had earlier said they would ensure the statehood, Rangasamy said the Congress or the BJP did not fulfil that promise when they ruled at the Centre.
Rangasamy said his "alliance is with the people" and not with any other political party. And this "alliance" is being spiced up with the freebies that the chief minister is promising.
The AINRC has promised washing machines to the people if it is voted back to power.
Political observers however say that the presence of the AIADMK and several other parties in the election is likely to split the anti-incumbency votes which would in turn benefit the Congress-DMK combine.