Legislative assembly

Rajya Sabha’s siege remains bone of contention in Pondicherry’s ruling alliance

Express news service

PUDUCHERRY: Chief Minister N Rangasamy and BJP leaders failed to reach any consensus on Rajya Sabha’s candidate, even after holding talks on Sunday.

The leaders – the head of the legislative wing A Namassivayam and the president of the state BJP V Saminathan – met the chief minister at his residence.

The two NDA allies – AINRC and BJP – continued to remain determined to contest the only RS seat in Pondicherry on October 4.

Although BJP lawmakers on Friday passed a resolution on contesting the election and submitted its copy to Rangasamy to seek support from his allies, the latter has yet to respond.

Asked about the outcome of the meeting, Namassivayam said that because the BJP had yet to get a response from the chief minister, the party’s high command ordered him and Saminathan to meet with Rangasamy.

The chief minister insisted that his party’s candidate challenge the seat, citing that he accepted the BJP’s decision when he appointed designated MPs without consulting him, Namassivayam told TNIE.

When BJP leaders disagreed with him, Rangasamy told them he would speak directly to the BJP high command, Namassivayam added.

The prime minister’s choice appears to be former health minister Malladi Krishna Rao, who has a reputation for raising funds from the Center for the UT.

However, a candidate from the BJP will be good for Pondicherry because he will have a better connection with the Center, he said.

Meanwhile, Namassivayam left for Delhi on Sunday to meet with national party leaders to discuss the issue.

“I will appeal to BJP President JP Nadda, organizer BL Santhosh and Interior Minister Amit Shah in this regard,” Namassivayam told TNIE.

He will also attend the meeting convened by Sports and Youth Minister Anurag Thakur on September 20.

AIADMK seeks to compete for seat

The AIADMK, another ally of the NDA, sought to challenge the only siege of RS.

Puducherry East AIADMK secretary Anbalagan urged the chief minister to hold a consultative meeting of allies – AINRC, BJP and AIADMK – and offer the AIADMK seat.

He said that in the absence of AIADMK representation in the Legislative Assembly, the post should be granted to AIADMK on the basis of “coalition dharma”.

The AIADMK has confirmed its membership of the alliance despite the low number of seats allocated to the party. However, no party member was chosen to be one of the three appointed lawmakers, appointed after coming to power.

N Gokulakrishnan of AIADMK is a member of the Rajya Sabha but he will complete his term and an election will be held for this post.

Therefore, in the absence of AIADMK representation in the Assembly, AIADMK should be given the post, Anbalagan said.

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