Puducherry floor test on Monday as Congress government 'loses majority'
The Indian National Congress-led government in Puducherry will face a floor test on Monday, Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said on Thursday. The Opposition has claimed that the government, led by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, has lost its majority after the resignations of four lawmakers. Incidentally, Soundararajan was sworn-in as Puducherry L-G earlier in the day after Kiran Bedi was removed from the post.
Soundararajan said a floor test was needed to ascertain whether the Congress government still has a majority. The test vote will be held at 5 pm on Monday. According to a statement, Soundararajan has conveyed to Narayanasamy that the Legislative Assembly would meet for a "single agenda, namely whether the government of the incumbent Chief Minister continues to enjoy the confidence of the House."
The Opposition has claimed that the ruling government has lost its majority, however, the CM has denied it. Narayanasamy said the resignations of two lawmakers are yet to be accepted. In January, lawmakers A Namassivayam and E Theepainthan had resigned and joined the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Lawmakers A John Kumar and Malladi Krishna Rao resigned last week.
The Congress had 15 members in the 30-seat Puducherry Assembly. It also had the support of three Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lawmakers and independent legislator N Ramachandran. After the recent resignations, both the Opposition and the government have 14 members. The Congress party has 10 members. The current Assembly strength is 28 and the majority mark has dropped to 15.
Narayanasamy said the two recent resignations were not final and expressed confidence that they will not leave the party. He also accused the BJP of poaching MLAs and threatening them. "I know the BJP well, they are giving false promises to lure MLAs. People are talking about it, this MLA has been purchased, this minister has been purchased," the CM said.