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Puducherry CM resigns as Congress-led govt falls ahead of floor test
Puducherry, February 22, 2021
Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy resigned on Monday after his Congress-led government collapsed just before facing the floor test in the Assembly.
After the dramatic walkout by Narayanasamy and his MLAs, Speaker V. P. Sivakozhundu announced that the government has lost its majority.
Narayanasamy later submitted his resignation to in-charge Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundarrajan.
"We have submitted the resignation to the Lieutenant Governor. It is now for the Lieutenant Governor to decide," Narayanasamy told media persons.
"In the Assembly, we said only the elected members can vote. The Speaker did not agree and we walked out," he said.
With this, the Congress haslost its only government in the south. As the Assembly polls in the Union Territory are due in May, it remains to be seen if the Lieutenant Governor recommends President's rule or invites the NR Congress-led opposition alliance to form the government.
The opposition has 14 members in the 30-member Assembly whose effective strength is 28. It also enjoys the support of three nominated MLAs, all belonging to BJP.
After his hard-hitting speech, slamming the Centre for colluding with the opposition to topple his government and arguments over voting rights of three nominated MLAs, the chief minister and his MLAs walked out of the House.
Addressing the Assembly ahead of the floor test, he alleged that the BJP is derailing India's democratic system.
"What is happening in Puducherry now is political prostitution. But the truth will prevail," he said.
He alleged that former Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and the Centre colluded with the opposition to destabilize his government.
Naranasamy, whose government slipped into a minority due to resignation of six MLAs of the ruling alliance during the last one month, said MLAs who resigned will not be able to face the people as people will call them opportunists.
"As our MLAs stayed united we managed to pull off the last five years. The Centre has betrayed the people of Puducherry by not granting funds we requested," he said.
He claimed that the people of the Union Territory are with the Congress-led government. He pointed out that after forming the government with the support of the DMK and independent MLAs, the alliance won all bye-elections.
"People trust us as our government was elected by them. The opposition who is unable to win the elections is trying to destabilize the government," he said.
Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundrarajan, who took on the additional charge of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor on February 18, had directed the chief minister to prove his majority in Assembly.
The development came after the opposition alleged that the government had slipped into a minority after the resignation of four MLAs.
Two more legislators resigned on Sunday, reducing the ruling alliance's strength to 12 in the 30-member Assembly.