File image: Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy (Image: Twitter/@VNarayanasami)
The V Narayanasamy-led Congress-DMK coalition government in Puducherry lost the trust vote during the floor test in the assembly on February 22.
The trust vote was held as directed by Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Tamilisai Soundararajan.
After walking out of the assembly where he lost the majority, chief minister Narayanasamy submitted resignation to the L-G. The development is a setback for the Congress party in the Union Territory that goes to assembly polls in less than three months.
Earlier assembly speaker VP Sivakozhundu announced that the Narayanasamy government could not prove the majority during the floor test.
Speaking in the assembly, Narayanasamy accused the opposition of trying to topple the government.
“Former LG Kiran Bedi and Centre colluded with the Opposition and tried to topple the government. It is clear that the people of Puducherry trust us. This is a government elected by the people,” he said.
Narayanasamy had moved the motion seeking the confidence vote minutes after the Assembly met for a special one-day session, But he and his MLAs walked out before the motion was put for voting.
After series of resignations, the Congress-DMK coalition government was left with just 12 MLAs, including speaker VP Sivakozhundu , who is not allowed to vote unless there is a tie. The opposition’s strength stood at 14.
Six MLAs from the ruling coalition, including cabinet ministers, had resigned from the House in the last one month. Three of them have already joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Another Congress MLA was disqualified for anti-party activities in July.
READ: Puducherry’s Congress-led government to face floor test today: All you need to know
In the 33-member House of the Union Territory, 30 MLAs are elected and three are nominated members belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre. Also, seven seats in the assembly are vacant which means the effective strength of the house was reduced to 26.
The Opposition-led by All India NR Congress founder and former chief minister N Rangasamy had submitted a petition seeking a floor test to the L-G’s office on February 18. Soundararajan replaced Kiran Bedi as Puducherry L-G, after the former IPS was removed from the post.
Now, it remains to be seen whether N Rangasamy will stake the claim for forming the government or the L-G recommends President’s Rule in the Union Territory.
Rangasamy said after the trust vote he will consult coalition partners to decide whether to stake claim to form the next government or not.