One more Congress MLA resigns in Puducherry, govt slips into minority

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy. File photo: IANS

One more ruling Congress MLA in Puducherry resigned from his post on Sunday, delivering yet another jolt to Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who is scheduled to face a floor test on February 22 to prove majority.

K Lakshminarayanan, elected from the Raj Bhavan constituency, tendered his resignation to Assembly Speaker V P Sivakolundhu at the latter's residence.

Later, he told reporters that "this government led by Narayanasamy has lost majority."

Lakshminarayanan said he has also resigned from the party membership.

Following his resignation, the second this week, the Congress alliances strength further slipped to 13, while the opposition has 14 MLAs in the 33-member house which has five vacancies.

Four Congress MLAs – including ex-ministers A Namassivayam (now in BJP) and Malladi Krishna Rao had quit, while another party legislator was earlier disqualified.

Amid the political turmoil, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was removed as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, with President Ram Nath Kovind giving additional charge of the UT to the Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan "with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office, until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant- Governor of Puducherry are made".

Hours after taking additional charge as Lieutenant Governor of the union territory, Soundararajan on Thursday directed Narayansamy to prove his majority in the Assembly on February 22.

Lakshminarayanan's resignation comes on a day when the ruling party members are slated to meet under the CM to discuss the future course of action though similar discussions on February 18 yielded no results.

Narayanasamy had on Friday accused the Centre of trying to topple his government with the help of opposition AINRC and AIADMK and asserted that the ruling Congress would overcome all such designs.

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