Puducherry Cong Govt Slips Into Minority Ahead of Rahul’s Visit
Congress has witnessed a spate of resignations in the recent weeks, starting with that of A Namassivayam.
Ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections, the Congress government has lost its majority in the Puducherry Legislative Assembly after the resignation of four of its MLAs.
After the resignation of the MLAs, the Assembly is now 28 members strong. The Congress-DMK alliance has 14 members now, one short of the majority mark of 15. The opposition too is at 14. The total strength of the House is 33. This includes three nominated MLAs of the BJP.
The Congress has witnessed a spate of resignations in the recent weeks, starting with A Namassivayam who was considered second-in-command in the Ministry and Congress legislator Theeppainthan.
The news comes just a day ahead of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's visit to Puducherry on Wednesday, 17 February, to discuss poll strategies for the 2021 Assembly elections.
A Series of Resignations
The legislators who have resigned over the last few weeks include A Namassivayam and E Theeppainthan, who quit on 25 January, and have now joined the BJP. The former legislator was important in consolidating the party's base in Puducherry. In 2016, he was been widely tipped to be the chief ministerial candidate but the post went to Narayanasamy.
Malladi Krishna Rao and John Kumar, too, resigned. MLA N Dhanavelou was disqualified for alleged anti-party activities last year.
It is the resignation of Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao that came as a surprise as he had accompanied Chief Minister Narayanasamy to Delhi to request the removal of Kiran Bedi as Lieutenant Governor.
Rahul Gandhi’s First Visit Since Congress Took Power
The principal Opposition party – the All India NR Congress – has seven and its allies, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has 4, while 3 nominated legislators belong to the BJP. The BJP and the AIADMK have asked the ruling front to prove their majority in the house.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's visit to Puducherry on Wednesday, in order to prep the election strategy, is his first since the party took power in the Union Territory.
The Congress leader is expected to interact with the students of Bharathidasan Government College for Women, fishermen, party workers and will then address a public meeting at the Anglo French Textiles.
Assembly elections are due in May in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.
Centre Trying to Make Puducherry a UT Without Legislature: CM
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday reiterated his charge against the Centre for trying to make Puducherry a Union Territory without a Legislative Assembly.
“Step by step, the powers of the elected government are being taken away. The Lt. Governor deliberately delays and forwards files to the Centre. It gives an impression that the Centre is trying to make Puducherry a Union Territory without a legislature, like Ladakh or merge the territory with Tamil Nadu. Otherwise, why should an elected government be denied the right to open a renovated building,” the Chief Minister said at a press conference.
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