A day before the Congress-led government vote in Puducherry, two more Congress-led MLAs resigned from the Assembly, bringing the government on the brink of collapse just months before the end of its term.
According to reports, Raj Bhavan Constituency Congress MLA Lakshmi Narayanan presented his resignation to Assembly Speaker VP Sivakolundhu on Sunday. In addition, DMK MLA Venkatesan also resigned from the house, delivering yet another jolt to the Chief Minister, who is scheduled to face the ground test on February 22 to prove his majority.
Interestingly, Narayanan is the sixth MLA to quit the Congress Party in the last week. His resignation comes only days after the visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to the territory of the Union. Five MLAs tendered their resignation from the party last week. While MLA Malladi Krishna Rao resigned on the 15th, the other four resigned on the 16th.
In the midst of the ongoing political crisis and ahead of the elections in Puducherry, senior Congressman Rahul Gandhi visited the Union Territory on February 17 to kick off the party’s election campaign for the upcoming elections in the Union territory.
With more MLAs jumping on the ship, the Puducherry government is heading for a major crisis. While Congress had 16 MLAs in the 33-member Puducherry Assembly, recent resignations pushed it to 10, including the speaker, while its ally DMK remained with 2 MLAs. The opposition now has 14 MLAs, including three BJP nominated members. However, with the resignations, the strength of the House fell to 26, and the ruling alliance lost a majority to 12 MLAs.
On Thursday, the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry Tamilisai Soundararajan instructed the Secretariat of the Assembly to convene the House for a vote of confidence on 22 February. Following the decision to hold a vote of confidence, CM Narayanasamy claimed that the opposition party did not have sufficient numbers to move the vote of confidence.
Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanasamy also claimed that the three nominated MLAs could not vote during the floor test.