In a first, the 15th Legislative Assembly in Puducherry will have a father-son duo sworn in as MLAs.
A. John Kumar, who moved from the Congress to the BJP and his eldest son Richards John Kumar (also on a BJP ticket) who made his electoral début, share a slice of history for being the first father and son to be elected to the House.
Mr. John Kumar trounced former Minister M.O.H.F. Shahjahan of the Congress by 7,229 votes in Kamaraj Nagar.
In fact, Mr. John Kumar, who has chalked up landslide in the past, including from Nellithope in 2016 (victory margin of 12,141) and in the 2019 bypoll in Kamaraj Nagar, had cited this track record to convince the NDA to field his son in Nellithope.
“I feel vindicated now,” he said referring to Richards’ win over V. Karthikeyan (DMK) by a narrow margin of 496 votes.
Mr. John Kumar vacated his Nellithope seat to help V. Narayanasamy contest and win after becoming Chief Minister in 2016. He stood from Kamaraj Nagar in 2019 byelection after V. Vaithilingam resigned as Speaker and won the Lok Sabha seat. Mr. John Kumar won by a handsome margin of 7,171 votes over S. Bouvanesvarane of the AINRC.
“They are the first father and son legislator team in the history of the Puducherry House,” said A.M. Saleem, CPI Secretary.
He said the Puducherry Assembly has had close relatives as legislators in AINRC supremo N. Rangasamy and A. Namassivayam, who is son-in-law to the former’s elder brother or P. Rajavelou (AINRC) who is the uncle of U. Lakshmikandhan (AINRC).
In fact, in the interregnum between erstwhile Pondicherry turning independent (from the French) through a referendum and formal accession with the Indian Union in 1962 and the promulgation of the Union Territories Act, 1963, when French rules still prevailed, Communist leader, freedom fighter and trade union trail blazer V. Subbiah, and his wife Saraswathi Subbiah were simultaneously members of the then Representative Assembly of French India, Mr. Saleem said.
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