Opposition in Puducherry demands floor test as Congress loses majority

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Chennai: N Rangasamy, leader of the opposition in Puducherry, along with AIADMK floor leader A Anbazhagan and BJP floor leader V Saminathan handed over a petition signed by 14 MLAs to the Lieutenant-Governor’s office on Wednesday demanding a floor test in the assembly.

This move is expected to hurt the Congress-led government in the union territory as the Puducherry assembly currently has 28 MLAs, after the resignation of four Congress leaders, who can vote in a no confidence motion. The collapse comes at a time when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be campaigning in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu ahead of the upcoming polls.

“The Congress government led by V Narayanasamy has been reduced to a minority as one of the Congress members was a Speaker, while the opposition has all 14 members,” said Anbazhagan. “Hence the government has no moral right to continue in office and the Chief Minister should be directed to prove his government’s majority.”

Significantly, the call to conduct a trust vote also comes after the Congress government in Puducherry lost its majority with the resignation of John Kumar. The Congress has lost four MLAs in just two months to the BJP. This brought down the numbers of the Congress-DMK alliance to 14 in the assembly with an effective strength of 28.

The Opposition finds itself with 7 NR Congress MLAs, 4 AIADMK MLAs and 3 nominated BJP MLAs which also adds up to 14. However, given that the Speaker can’t vote, the Congress alliance will be one vote short.

Kiran Bedi on Tuesday was removed as Puducherry LG. The Rashtrapati Bhavan had announced that Kiran Bedi would cease to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. Bedi faced a lot of flak from the ruling Congress against her style of functioning and her removal comes a week after Puducherry CM Narayanasamy urged President Ram Nath Kovind to recall her.

“BJP thinks by changing Kiran Bedi they can try to win some seats. It will not happen…They will not succeed in Puducherry,” Chief Minister V Narayanasami had said on Wednesday. “The people of Puducherry were tired of Kiran Bedi. We have been raising the issue at several forums and ultimately it has happened.”

With her removal, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan was given additional charge of Puducherry. Rangasamy, Anbazhagan and Saminathan said Soundararajan was aware of the development of a floor test demand. Soundarajan will have to provide a response on the same.





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