The by-election to the Puducherry Territorial Assembly from Kamaraj is set to witness a direct contest between the Congress and the NR Congress.
While the Congress is in alliance with the DMK, the NR Congress is backed by the AIADMK. The BJP, which is part of the AIADMK-NR Congress alliance, is not in the reckoning, with both the parties ignoring it.
The Congress on Saturday announced John Kumar as its candidate in the Kamaraj by-poll slated for Oct 21. The NR Congress has named former legislator Nehru as its candidate.
John Kumar is a supporter of Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy. The Congress high command in New Delhi picked him over Jayakumar for which Territorial Congress Committee president Namasaviyam lobbied.
The NR Congress, which initially did not evince any interest in the bypoll suddenly jumped into the fray after former BJP MP Radhakrishnan lobbied for his brother Senthil Kumar who is with the NR Congress. This led to strong protest from NR Congress legislators.