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Congress’ Vaithilingam Promises Statehood for Puducherry

V Vaithilingam (Congress), K Narayanaswamy (All India NR Congress) & MAS Subramanian (MNM) are fighting Puducherry.

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Elections
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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Producer:
Smitha TK
Cameraperson:
Romani Agarwal

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The race for the lone seat in Puducherry is gaining momentum as V Vaithilingam (Congress), K Narayanaswamy (All India NR Congress ) and MAS Subramanian (Makkal Needhi Maiam) battle it out.

The Quint spoke to Vaithilingam, the two-time chief minister of the Union Territory, who recently stepped down as speaker of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly.

He said once he gets elected to power, his top priority will be to give complete statehood to Puducherry – a promise made by the two main Tamil Nadu parties, DMK-Congress and AIADMK-BJP-PMK.

What is your promise to the people of Puducherry?

Since Puducherry got freedom, we are still a union territory. The reason being there isn’t a system to fulfil people’s demands. There are two main authorities here – one is the government elected by the people, the other is an authority appointed by the Centre. We are seeing how people are stuck and struggling between these two systems.

This is the first election without the veteran leaders – Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi.
What do you have to say about the alliances – DMK-Congress or AIADMK-PMK-BJP alliance in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry?

This election is a first and one of its kind. The two main leaders who have been there all along are no longer there – Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) and Puratchi Thalaivi (Jayalalithaa). Now, it is the chance for the leaders today to live up to people’s expectations. But, we are looking at an AIADMK that has accepted everything that Puratchi Thalaivi Amma opposed. This is a clear violation of people’s desires...just being imposed on the public.

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Recently, DMK President MK Stalin had announced that Rahul Gandhi is the prime ministerial candidate. Have alliance partners accepted that? Who do you think is capable to take up this post?

You, too, must have seen when Rahul Gandhi came to Chennai he showed he is a person who is very open and easy to connect with. When he came to Stella Maris to speak to the students he received a lot of appreciation from the youngsters. This is not limited to just Tamil Nadu... I think all of India has now accepted him.

Your competition in Puducherry is a 29-year-old candidate – Narayanaswamy. Do you feel your 40 years of experience will trump over him being a youngster?

This isn’t about (being) young or experienced. It’s about who can work to fulfil people’s demands.

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