PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry
BJP unit made its intentions clear on Friday and declared that the party will field its candidate for the lone Rajya Sabha
seat under the National Democratic Alliance in the Union territory. The party went a step ahead and urged its alliance partner All India NR Congress (AINRC
) to extend support to the party’s candidate in the polls.
The term of Rajya Sabha MP N Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK) expires on October 6. Nomination for the lone RS seat, which commenced on September 15, will close on September 22 and polls, if necessitated, will be held on October 4.
The Puducherry unit of the saffron party convened its legislators’ meeting on Friday in which the party ministers, elected and nominated members and independent MLAs who have extended their support to the party participated and deliberated on the Rajya Sabha seat. The meeting resolved to field party’s candidate under NDA
and urge AINRC founder leader and chief minister N Rangasamy
, who also leads NDA in Puducherry, to extend support to the party’s candidate.
“BJP party with maximum representation in the assembly has decided to field its candidate under NDA. We have 12 members in the house which has 30 elected members and three nominated members. We have six elected members and three nominated members. Moreover, three independent MLAs have pledged their support to the BJP. Though nominated members do not have the right to vote in Rajya Sabha polls, they enjoy equal powers like an elected member in all other aspects. We will urge NDA leader NR (Rangasamy) to extend support to party candidate under NDA fold,” said BJP
legislature party leader and home minister A Namassivayam.
The local BJP leaders, however, were tight-lipped on the party’s candidate. Speculations are rife that former Tamil Nadu BJP president L Murugan, who lost the 2021 assembly polls to DMK's N Kayalvizhi in Dharapuram but was inducted as the Union minister of state for information and broadcasting will be the party’s candidate for RS seat in Puducherry.
“We don’t want to respond to rumours and speculations. The party headquarters and its parliamentary board will decide on the candidate and make an announcement at an appropriate time,” said Namassivayam.
The BJP leaders strongly believe that a Rajya Sabha MP from the party will work for all-round development of the Union territory and will secure more central schemes and funds for the territory. A BJP delegation called on Rangasamy and gave him a copy of the resolution requesting his party to support BJP candidate in the RS polls.
Meanwhile, on the opposition side the DMK, which has six seats, has evinced interest in contesting the Rajya Sabha polls as the Dravidian party was confident that disgruntled MLAs in AINRC and BJP who were denied ministerial berths might cross vote rattling the NDA government.
In the assembly, which as 30 elected members and three nominated MLAs, the AINRC has 10 elected members and BJP has six elected members and three nominated members. Three of the six independent MLAs have pledged their support to the BJP. On the opposition side, the DMK has six and the Congress two.