Congress, DMK, and Left parties target government over Minister’s resignation

Minister for Transport S. Chandira Priyanga had levelled serious charges of caste and gender discrimination while submitting her resignation on Tuesday. The charge of discrimination comes at a time when BJP claims credit for passing the Bill granting 33% reservation for women in the Parliament and the State Assemblies, says CPI secretary

Updated - October 11, 2023 08:30 pm IST

Published - October 11, 2023 08:24 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Transport and Adi Dravidar Welfare Minister S. Chandira Priyanga, in Puducherry.

Transport and Adi Dravidar Welfare Minister S. Chandira Priyanga, in Puducherry. | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

The All-India N. R. Congress-led National Democratic Alliance government has come under fire after Minister for Transport S. Chandira Priyanga levelled serious charges of caste and gender discrimination while submitting her resignation from the Cabinet headed by AINRC founder N. Rangasamy. 

The Congress, the DMK and the Left parties on Wednesday came down heavily on Mr. Rangasamy and his alliance partner BJP for “isolating a Dalit Minister” in the government. 

Addressing a joint press conference, Pradesh Congress Committee chief V. Vaithilingam and former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy have demanded answers from the Chief Minister on the issue. 

Mr. Vaithilingam said the Chief Minister is “known for his anti-Dalit” stand and the latest resignation only showed Mr. Rangasamy’s lack of concern for the community. The Scheduled Caste community was facing issues about lack of allocation of funds for running hostels. Loans are not distributed to the community, he said. 

Mr. Narayanasamy said the Chief Minister has pushed Ms. Priyanga to step down from the Ministry. “Four days ago, Mr. Rangasamy met Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and handed her a letter recommending Ms. Priyanga’s removal from the council of Ministers. The Chief Minister has also recommended induction of AINRC legislator Thirumurugan in her place. The file was sent to Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The communication giving sanction for Mr. Thirumurugan’s induction into the Cabinet reached here on Tuesday. Ms. Priyanga came to know about it and hence she submitted the papers,” Mr. Narayanasamy said. 

The former Chief Minister said Mr. Rangasamy had sought her removal under the guise of “lack of performance in the Ministry. If that is the case, the Chief Minister and all other Ministers have to resign due to their failure to govern the region. Ms. Priyanga has levelled serious charges, and it is a fit instance for a case being registered under SC Act,” he said. 

Opposition leader R. Siva said the Chief Minister owed an explanation on reports of him recommending Ms. Priyanga’s removal from the Cabinet. There were no charges against her and she had been complaining that officers posted in her departments were not extending cooperation. 

CPI secretary A. M Saleem said it was a shame on AINRC-BJP alliance to put a Dalit woman in such a situation. The charge of discrimination comes at a time when BJP claims credit for passing the Bill granting 33% reservation for women in the State Assemblies and the Parliament, he said. 

CPI (M) secretary R. Rajangam said Ms. Priyanga was eased out of the Ministry while ruling party legislators involved in temple land grabbing scam are enjoying government protection.

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