Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy resigned after the Congress government lost its majority on Monday. The final blow came after two more exits from the party on Sunday, plunging the government’s numbers to 12 MLAs in the House, two short of the majority mark of 14. This loss comes merely months before the Assembly polls are due in the Union Territory, perhaps around April-May. The Congress’s CM, Narayanasamy had been asked to face a trust vote last week.
However, the ruling coalition lost two more MLAs; Congress’s K Lakshminarayanan and its partner DMK’s K Venkatesan who resigned, reported NDTV. According to the news report the four-time Congress MLA Lakshminarayanan said he was upset at not getting “recognition” in the party and that he wasn’t made a minister, Speaker or party chief. It is speculated that now the rival NR Congress-led alliance, which has 14 MLAs, may be asked to form a government. However it is not ruled out that Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan may also call for President’s rule to be imposed.
Mirror Now reported that Narayanasamy blamed the Centre and the former Lt Gov KiranBedi for “toppling the democratically elected Govt of the Union Territory”. He also said that the decision by the speaker during the trust vote was wrong.
In an #Exclusive conversation with @Mugilan__C, CM V #Narayanasamy blamed the Centre and the former LG #KiranBedi for toppling the democratically elected Govt of the Union Territory. He also remarked that the decision by the speaker during the trust vote was wrong. Listen in! pic.twitter.com/K4lOeJn7Co
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) February 22, 2021
According to NDTV’s reporter J Sam Daniel Stalin, the DMK may also move court if there is an attempt “to delay Puducherry polls”.
M K STALIN SLAMS BJP FOR FALL OF CONGRESS GOVT IN PUDUCHERRY, LAUDS NARAYANASAMY
M K STALIN BJP HAS ENACTED YET ANOTHER MURDER OF DEMOCRACY
M K STALIN:
PEOPLE WILL NOT BE SILENT SPECTATORS. DMK – CONGRESS WILL GO TO PEOPLE
— J Sam Daniel Stalin (@jsamdaniel) February 22, 2021
V Narayanasamy has not only accused the opposition BJP and NR Congress of bringing down the government but has also accused the former Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi of “colluding with the opposition”. According to NDTV, ater Narayanasamy’s address the Congress asked the Speaker to not allow the three nominated MLAs – all BJP members – to vote. Without these MLAs, the ruling Congress would have a majority. But the Speaker denied the request; the Supreme Court had in a past ruling allowed nominated MLAs to vote.
According to news reports, Narayanasamy delivered an hour-long speech in which he said “the strategies of the BJP” to topple his government were “nothing but political prostitution”. He told The Indian Express that the BJP “lured” his ministers and MLAs to “ensure a caretaker government in Puducherry during the polls.”
He alleged in his interview to IE that the BJP wanted to topple his government “using the same tactics they used in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh. And they were using the money power, using the Enforcement Directorate, CBI and central agencies against our MLAs. They lured our MLAs with money. That is how they succeeded to get support from some of the ministers and MLAs from our side. But we will fight it out.”
Meanwhile the BJP state president and one of the nominated MLAs, V Saminathan, told IE, “All of these charges are false. The BJP had no role to play in the fall of this government. It was a highly corrupt government and collapsed on its own due to mismanagement and poor governance. If BJP was the reason, why did their Health Minister and senior leader Malladi Krishna Rao resign? Why did they disqualify an MLA last year itself? This government lost the majority because it was a failure.” The ruling coalition lost seven MLAs, including five from the Congress and one from DMK who resigned in the past one month while another Congress MLA was disqualified in July 2020 for anti-party activities.
About the exit of senior ministers, Narayanasamy said, “I had trust in them, and they betrayed that trust. It happens in politics, nothing new in it. Anyway, the people of Puducherry will teach them a lesson in the elections (scheduled to be held in April-May).”
Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan had ordered Narayanasamy on Thursday February 18, to take a floor test on Monday February 22, citing the opposition’s stand that his government no longer has a majority. She had taken charge as Lieutenant Governor just a day before this call, after Kiran Bedi was suddenly removed from the Constitutional post on Tuesday February 16.
According to NDTV, the now former CM had blamed the BJP’s “Operation Kamala” for the current crisis. This is what the BJP’s critics say is the formula used for “destabilizing governments by engineering defections in the ruling parties.” Puducherry was the only Congress government in South India at the moment. Its collapse will certainly help the BJP and its affiliates in the upcoming elections. According to The Indian Express, senior leaders of the Opposition alliance of NR Congress-AIADMK-BJP have so far said they will hold discussions with allies and weigh options of forming a government.