The BJP that managed to bring down the Narayanasamy-led Congress government in Puducherry with the help of three nominated MLAs from its party is seeing itself not so wanted by the All India NR Congress in the Union Territory, on who many say it attempted to thrust an alliance. NR Congress sources say its leader N Rangasamy wants to fight election alone.
The former chief minister who chose to not stake claim to form government with support of the three nominated MLAs from BJP, for the remaining few months after the fall of the Narayanasamy government last month, has not responded after BJP leader Nirmal Kumar Surana's meeting with him for an alliance.
BJP president in Puducherry V Swaminathan today said, "We respect him, we want him to be our chief minister. Rest is his decision. He should understand he could bring about changes only in alliance with the centre."
A source close to Mr Rangasamy told NDTV, "The party has good candidates and Mr Rangasamy wants his party to contest in at least in 18 of the 30 seats to form government of his own. He feels there is no need for alliance with the BJP and that it would be counter-productive."
Another source in the party added. "Maybe the BJP should announce him to be the chief ministerial candidate and give him the seats he wants, then he may say yes."
The Congress's ally DMK too, which had earlier floated the idea of contesting in more number of seats, has invited NR Congress to fight as part of the UPA. Former DMK minister AMH Nazeem in a video appeal a few days ago said, "The Congress, DMK and all of our allies are ready to stand behind him."
In another development, Congress president AV Subramanian endorsed this. "This would help the alliance to win a huge majority. We have to bring to an end the anti-democratic methods being adopted by the BJP," he said.
Similar calls have come from Kamal Haasan's MNM.
The five-year-old Congress-led Narayanasamy government fell last month after six MLAs including a minister resigned. Two of them including the former Congress chief of Puducherry Namassivayam joined the BJP. Another senior leader Lakshminarayanan joined NR Congress.
While the BJP is likely to contest alone, it's not clear if AIADMK, its ally, would continue its ties with NR Congress or switch to the BJP alliance.