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