President's rule imposed in Puducherry after Congress government falls
Days after the fall of the Indian National Congress-led government in Puducherry, President's rule was imposed in the union territory. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday issued a gazette notification in this regard. The Congress-led government in Puducherry had lost majority earlier this month after several lawmakers resigned. Eventually, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy also resigned on Monday. Here are more details.
"I (President Ram Nath Kovind) am satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the administration of the Union territory of Puducherry cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963."
The Congress had won the 2016 Puducherry election, bagging 15 seats in the 30-seat Legislative Assembly. It also had the support of three Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam lawmakers and independent legislator N Ramachandran. However, the ruling Congress-led Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) lost the majority after the recent resignations of lawmakers A John Kumar, Malladi Krishna Rao, A Namassivayam, and E Theepainthan.
As the SDA lost the majority, Puducherry Lieutenant General Tamilisai Soundararajan had ordered a floor test in the Assembly on February 22. Incidentally, Soundararajan had taken charge last week after the President removed former L-G Kiran Bedi from the post. Narayanasamy had urged the Centre to recall Bedi, claiming she was "autocratic" and interfering with the administration.
Ahead of Monday's floor test, Narayanasamy tendered his resignation. However, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies had refused to stake claim to power. Hence, President's rule was imposed in the UT. Notably, Assembly elections are also due in Puducherry in three months. The UT will likely hold single-phase elections in May 2021.