Two more MLAs – one from the Congress and the other from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – resigned from the Puducherry Assembly on Sunday, a day before the V Narayanasamy-led government’s floor test. PTI reported.
K Lakshminarayanan, who had been elected from the Raj Bhavan constituency, handed over his resignation letter to Puducherry Assembly Speaker VP Sivakolundhu at his residence. He told the media that Narayanasamy’s government had lost its majority. Hours later, DMK MLA K Venkatesan also tendered his resignation.
Lakshminarayanan complained about not being made a minister despite his seniority, NDTV reported. “I took this decision because the party didn’t give me due recognition in the government and in the organisation,” he told ANI.
Lakshminarayanan added that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the regional NR Congress had approached him. “I will make the next move after consulting my supporters,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
With the two resignations, the strength of the MLAs supporting the Puducherry government in the Assembly has reduced to 12 including the Speaker. The The Opposition, on the other hand, has 14 MLAs. In the 33-member House, five seats are vacant.
The Narayanasamy-led government was reduced to a minority, following the resignation of four of its MLAs. Congress legislator A John Kumar became the latest one to resign on Tuesday, following Malladi Krishna Rao who quit on Monday. Two others, A Namassivayam and E Theeppainjan, had resigned in January.
On Thursday, Puducherry’s newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan ordered that the floor test for the Congress government will take place in the Assembly on February 22.
Soundararajan’s order came after the Opposition parties, led by All India NR Congress chief N Rangasamy, demanded that the government prove its majority on the floor of the House.
Voting will take place by show of hands and the proceedings will be recorded on video. The lieutenant governor’s office added that the proceedings should not be adjourned, delayed or suspended.
Soundararajan, who is the governor of Telangana, was given the additional charge of Puducherry on Tuesday after the Centre removed Kiran Bedi from the lieutenant governor’s position.
Puducherry is likely to hold its elections in three months. If both the government and the opposition fall short of numbers during the floor test on Monday, President’s rule may be declared for the Union Territory.