1964 Pondicherry Legislative Assembly election

Elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Indian Union Territory of Pondicherry took place on 23 August 1964 to constitute the Second Assembly of Pondicherry.[1] These were the first Legislative Assembly elections after the formation of the new Union Territory.[2] The elections marked the end of the rule of Edouard Goubert in Pondicherry.[3]

1964 Pondicherry Legislative Assembly election


 1959 23 August 1964 (1964-08-23) 1969 

All 30 seats to the Puducherry Legislative Assembly
16 seats needed for a majority

  First party Second party
 
Party INC People’s Front
Leader since V. Venkatasubba Reddiar V.Subbiah
Leader’s seat Nettapakkam Murungapakkam-Nainar Mandapam
Last election 21 13
Seats before 21 13
Seats won 22 4
Seat change 1 9
Percentage 54.3% 13.4%
Swing 15.9% 15.9%

Chief Minister before election

Edouard Goubert
INC

Elected Chief Minister

V. Venkatasubba Reddiar
INC

. . . 1964 Pondicherry Legislative Assembly election . . .

The outgoing Legislative Assembly had 39 members (out of whom 25 belonged to the Indian National Congress, 11 to the People’s Front (Makkaḷ Munnaṇi (Tamil:மக்கள் முன்னணி)), 1 to the Praja Socialist Party and 2 independents).[4][5]

As per The Union Territories Act, 1963, thirty members would be elected through direct suffrage.[6][7] Before the Elections to the Pondicherry Legislative Assembly were held in August 1964, the constituencies were delimited by the Delimitation Commission (as per Delimitation Commission Act, 1962) and the entire territory was divided into 30 single-member constituencies-21 for Pondicherry region, 6 for Karaikal region, 2 for Mahe region and 1 for Yanam region. Out of these 5 seats were reserved for Scheduled Castes,[7] four in Pondicherry region and one in Karaikal region.[8]:965

A total of 85 candidates contested the election. Three of the candidates were women (Saraswathi Subbiah of the People’s Front, P. Angammal and Padmini Chandrasekaran from the Congress Party).[7]

In the run-up to the election, there was dissent within the local unit of the Indian National Congress over the nomination of candidates.[1] Until these polls Édouard Goubert had maintained control over the local Congress Party apparatus. Goubert had been pro-colonialist who had switched sides just as French power ended in Pondicherry. He had survived politically through political intrigues and maintaining the image that he could keep the communists from seizing power in the Union Territory. Now a group led by V. Venkatasubha Reddiar challenged his hegemony. Reddiar had been the Minister of Planning in the Pondicherry cabinet since 1954, and enjoyed the support by a sector of contractors and bootleggers. K. Kamaraj, the president of the Congress Party in the Madras State, was called on to heal the split.[3] The Madras State Minister for Industries R. Venkataraman (acting on behalf of the All India Congress Committee) was assigned the task to ensure that the party was reunited for the polls.[1][4] The AICC wholeheartedly sided with Reddiar. Effectively Goubert’s group was marginalised in the process.[3] The Congress Party contested all 30 seat in the election.[4] However, Goubert organised some of his sympathizers to contest as independents.[3] In total there were 38 independent candidates, including Goubert’s followers.[3][4]

. . . 1964 Pondicherry Legislative Assembly election . . .

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. . . 1964 Pondicherry Legislative Assembly election . . .

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