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In the union territory of Puducherry, in 2021 the All India NR Congress-led alliance led in 14 of the 30 seats assembly. The V Narayanasamy-led Congress government in the UT had collapsed in February after seven MLAs resigned one after another. Two of these MLAs later joined the BJP. A high voter turnout was recorded in the Puducherry Assembly election on 06 April 2021 , with the Congress along with its ally DMK locked in a keen contest to regain turf in the Union Territory. An estimated 81.64 percent of the 10.04 lakh voters exercised their franchise on Tuesday for the 30 Assembly seats in the Union Territory. Puducherry witnessed a contest between the AINRC-led NDA and the Congress-led Secular Democratic alliance. While AINRC fielded candidates in 16 of the total 30 constituencies the BJP contested nine seats, while the AIADMK contested five seats. The DMK, its main alliance partner, fielded candidates in 13 seats and the VCK and CPI contested from one constituency each. The election was seen as a crucial battle for both the Congress-led SDA and the NDA, as the former made a bid to regain power it lost just before the elections. Puducherry is one of the seven Union Territories of India. The territory of Puducherry comprises the former French establishment Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. Also known as "Pondy", and now officially called Puducherry, Pondicherry was once the original headquarters of the French in India. “Puducherry” is the French interpretation of the original name “Puducheri” meaning “new settlement”. It was under the French rule for 138 years and merged with the Indian Union on 1st November 1954. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the three sides by Tamil Nadu. About 150 kms south of Puducherry on the East Coast lies Karaikal. Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats surrounded by Kerala. It can be reached from Calicut Airport, which is 70 kms from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is about 200 kms from Visakhapatnam airport.

Nearly 24.37 per cent of the population of the Union Territory is engaged in agriculture and allied pursuits. 80.7% of the cultivated area is irrigated. Paddy is the predominant crop (65%) followed by pulses. Mahe region contributes to the plantation wealth of this territory. Crops like coconut, areca nut, condiments and spices are grown here. Paddy crop is a major crop and pulses, groundnut and chillies are the other rainfed crops grown in Yanam.

7,982 Industrial Units in total with an aggregate investment of Rs.2,177.78 crores provided employment to 93,044 persons. The total value of production of these industrial units worked out to Rs.13,455.34 crores. Under the assistance from the European Union many tanks were rehabilitated. 8 bed dams have been constructed across the river Sankaraparani and Pennar at various places. In addition to the above, necessary proposal to construct bed dams for ground water recharges at Aratchikuppam, Pambaiyar confluence point at Sellipet, across Malatar in Vadukuppam at Puducherry and across Mullaiyar, Pravadayanar and Vanjiar at Karaikal and also the construction of a bridge-cum-barrage at Villanur are under progress.

The electrical power requirements of the Union Territory of Puducherry are met by availing share of power from the Central Generating Stations and by purchasing power from the neighboring State Electricity Boards viz., TamilNadu Electricity Board, Kerala State Electricity Board and from the Puducherry Power Corporation Limited. The total power available for Union Territory of Puducherry is 396.58 MW. Roads nearly 677.525 km. of various category are being maintained by Roads Divisions of PWD Puducherry. Construction of bridges and improvement of roads are under progress.

Located about 160 Km South of Chennai, Puducherry (known in Tamil as Puddcherry), the former French Colony of the early 18th Century, is a charming Indian town with a few enduring pockets of French Culture, and an Ashram set beside the sea. Together with the other former French enclaves of Karaikal (also in Tamil Nadu), Mahe (Kerala), Yanam (Andhra Pradesh), it now forms the Union, Territory of Puducherry. The uniqueness of this town invariably lies in skillful town planning and Franco Tamil architecture. The town is built on the model of "bastide", a fortified French coastal town of the late 18th Century.

Being the legendary abode of renowned saints, ancient trading settlement with Rome and Greece, once capital of French India, a spiritual Power house, Puducherry has touristic resources in the back waters, rivers, beaches and other areas developed as sustainable eco-tourist facilities. Influenced by East and West, Puducherry has unique handicrafts in leather pottery, hand made paper, incense and antique colonial furniture. Late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru rightly described Puducherry as "the Window of French Culture".

Sri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of Indian spirituality, preached his vision and ideals staying in Puducherry till his life. His Ashram is still a unique institution with its distinctive way of life attracting people from all over the world.

Auroville is an experimental township in Viluppuram district mostly in the state of Tamil Nadu, India with some parts in the state of Puducherry in South India. It was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa and designed by architect Roger Anger.

Puducherry would have a single-phase election on 6 April 2021. A total of 17% of 323 candidates contesting the polls in Puducherry, numbering 54 have declared criminal cases against themselves. However, it is lower compared to the 2016 Puducherry Assembly Elections, where out of 343 candidates analyzed, 68 (20%) had declared criminal cases against themselves, according to an analysis done by the Puducherry Election Watch (PEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Releasing the BJP’s manifesto for the 2021 Puducherry Assembly election, on 27 March 2021 Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the party promises to create 2.5 lakh jobs and provide special status to the Union Territory. The promise will ensure the devolution of funds from 25% to 40% as implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming elections on April 6 comprises a set of poll promises to empower women in Puducherry. These include free and quality education to girls and women from kindergarten to post-graduation; free scooters to female college students; interest-free loans of up to Rs 5 lakh for women self-help groups; a waiver on loans taken by women SHGs, which were affected by the COVID-19; 50% reservation for women employees in government institutions and in local body elections; and free public transport for women. The BJP also promises to turn Puducherry into a spiritual hub, in addition to setting up tourism centres across Puducherry. It promises to construct a 150-feet statue for Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi. It also promises to bring IT parks, textile parks and elevated railway line from Puducherry to Chennai via Mahabalipuram.

Puducherry, according to opinion polls, was likely to see its first BJP government, in coalition with the larger All India N.R. Congress (AINRC), a breakaway Congress party. The manner in which the BJP engineered the defection of Congress Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Puducherry, which led to the fall of the Congress government, speaks to the importance the BJP places on these tiny enclaves, perhaps as a springboard to launch its incursion into neighboring Tamil Nadu.

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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:15:54 ZULU