Brisk polling was reported from Kamaraj Nagar in the by-election to the Puducherry Territorial Assembly on Monday. By 1 p.m. over 45 per cent polling was recorded where the Congress is fighting to retain the seat in the face of challenge from breakaway N R Congress .
The final tally may exceed and touch 70 per cent as the electorate is small. Though 18 candidates are in the field, the main fight is between former MLA John Kumar of the Congress and NR Congress (AINRC) candidate S Buvaneswarane.
The Congress is backed by the DMK while NR Congress nominee is supported by the AIADMK. Unlike in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK is not strong in the Union Territory while the DMK is as powerful in Puducherry as it is in Tamil Nadu. It is in fact sharing power with the Congress in a coalition Government.
The by-election has been caused by the resignation of the seat by Assembly Speaker V Vaithialingam after his election to the Lok Sabha held last April.