The mega political crisis in the tiny territory of Puducherry has come to an end by collapsing the ruling Congress government in the state and pushing Chief Minister Narayanasamy to resign from office after he failed to prove his majority in the assembly, in what has become a major political setback for the Congress party ahead of the assembly polls.
The trust vote in the assembly was held on Monday at around 11.30 am in the order of Lieutenant-Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan after the Congress-led ruling government had lost its majority following the back-to-back resignations of the legislators from the assembly. With having no concrete support to showcase his majority, it was speculated that Narayanasamy's government will get fallen from the reign and it was also said that Narayanasamy will table his resignation even before the trust vote.
However, the Chief Minister had put the floor test on Monday as a minority regime. The assembly was convened at around 11 am on Monday and ahead of the trust vote, Narayanasamy had recalled his governance and slammed the Center for plotting to topple the government elected by the people. He said, "We (the ruling government) have worked day and night for the people by facing more challenges and hurdles". He said that the Union Government had intervened in the affairs of the state government and the Center had failed to release the funds that were meant for the Union Territory. He stated, "Kiran Bedi (former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry) had joined with the opposition and tried to topple our government. Because of the support from my MLAs, we were able to complete almost five years of our government".
Narayanasamy had further put out a slew of allegations against the opposition. He questioned the Center that whether it can do anything if it has a majority. He further questioned, "Center had brought demonetization. Did they recover black money and have they deposited Rs 15 lakh in everyone's account?" The Chief Minister said that the only achievement of the Central government is to increase fuel prices. He further added, "I know how the BJP will topple the government. I'm complete and people will understand who is the enemy. I thank everyone who stood with us during troubling situations".
Following his speech, he tabled the trust vote amid the ruckus in the 33-member assembly. Narayanasamy's confident motion had met with failure after he failed to prove the majority to run his government in semi-state. House Speaker Sivakolundhu announced that Narayanasamy has failed to prove his majority after the ruling party members exited the assembly. Following the speaker's announcement, it was officially informed that the Narayanasamy-led Congress government has fallen and been removed from power.
Out of 33 members, three are nominated MLAs by the Lieutenant Governor while the rest 30 are elected by people. While the nominated MLAs won't exercise authority to cast their votes in the floor test, the rest were eligible. The trust vote was made possible by the shocking resignations from the ruling Congress MLAs, some of them had joined BJP. According to reports, five Congress MLAs and a DMK MLA had tendered resignation from the ruling alliance in the last 30 days.
Of these six resigned MLAs, two - Congress MLA Lakshminarayanan and DMK MLA Venkatesan had tabled their resignations on Sunday, one day ahead of the trust vote, which had further weakened the government. By moving his resignation to the speaker, Lakshminarayanan said that he was not being given his due importance in the party and that there was no recognition for his work. He claimed that his exit won't be making any difference as the government had already lost the numbers required to prove the majority.
On the other hand, DMK MLA Venkatesan said that the government didn't release the funds necessary to help him carry out development work for his constituency. Six resigned MLAs include Namassivayam, Theepandhayan, Malladi Krishna Rao, John Kumar, Lakshminarayanan, and Venkatesan. Namassivayam and Malladi Krishna Rao were the state ministers close to Narayansamy and while Namassivayam and Theepandhayan joined BJP, the other four are yet to announce whether they will join BJP.
Along with these six MLAs, another Congress MLA Danavelu was disqualified from the assembly last year. The absence of seven legislators of the ruling party alliance had brought down the numbers to 26. Of these 26, the ruling government had 12 members including nine from Congress, two from DMK, and an independent while the opposition had 14 members including seven from NR Congress, four from ADMK, and three nominated MLAs from BJP.
With the resignations, the ruling party has lost its majority and ran short of two members to reach the magical number of 14. Last week, Kiran Bedi was removed from the office, and Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan had taken over the office of Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. On her first day, Tamilisai had ordered Narayanasamy to prove his majority in the assembly on Monday, after the opposition members had informed her that the ruling government had lost its majority.
Following the order, Narayanasamy had discussed with the party leaders and it was earlier said that the Chief Minister will dissolve his cabinet before the floor test. However, Narayanasamy had come to the assembly on Monday and flayed the Center for toppling the government elected by the people. The Congress voiced against the speaker in the assembly for allowing the nominated BJP MLAs for the trust vote.
Amid the ruckus, Narayanasamy and the Congress members exited the house following which the speaker declared that the ruling government has lost the majority and fallen. Narayanasamy left the Assembly for Raj Nivas and tendered his resignation to Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan. According to our sources, Narayanasamy had met Soundarajaran along with the members and ministers and tabled his resignation, as the developments from Puducherry have been keenly watched by the entire nation.
As the sequel of the political crisis, Narayanasamy had lost his majority and after meeting the Lt. Governor, Narayanasamy had addressed the reporters during which he said, "We have given a letter to the Lt. Governor mentioning the resignation of Puducherry cabinet. Lt. Governor has to decide now and people will punish the opposition for toppling the government through nominated MLAs". He referred that the nominated MLAs won't have the right to take part in the trust vote. As the political drama has come to an end with the collapse of the Congress rule, the development had stirred speculations on what's next in the state. The political observers say that as the next process, the ball is on the court of the Central government-backed Lt. Governor and she would invite the BJP-ADMK-NR Congress alliance to form the government or the Center could impose Lt. Governor's rule in Puducherry as the state is two months ahead of the legislative elections.