Puducherry CM resigns; Speaker rules trust vote defeated

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy arriving at the Assembly Hall on Monday morning to face the floor test.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday submitted his resignation to Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan after it became apparent that he had lost the confidence of the House. 

A Motion of Confidence moved by Mr Narayanasamy in the Assembly was not put to vote. However, Speaker V.P. Sivakolandhu announced that it stood defeated after the Chief Minister, questioning the right of the three nominated members to vote, led a walkout of the ruling Congress-DMK legislators. Opposition MLAs numbering 14 from the All India N R Congress (7), AIADMK (4) and BJP (3 nominated) were in the House, when the Speaker gave his ruling. 


Resignations by half-a-dozen legislators – five from the Congress including two ministers and one from the DMK - in recent weeks and the disqualification of a Congress legislator last year, had reduced the government to a minority. The House strength had come down to 26 from 33 due to which the opposition outnumbered the ruling alliance – Congress (9 including Speaker), DMK (2) and Independent (1). 

Soon after the House assembled at 10 a.m on the directions of the Lt Governor to the government to prove its majority, Mr Narayanasamy moved a Motion of Confidence and spoke for about an hour on the hurdles they faced from the Centre and from former Lt Governor Kiran Bedi over the years. 

As soon as he finished his speech, Government whip R.K.R. Anantharaman sought a clarification from the Speaker on voting rights of three nominated legislators belonging to BJP. When the Opposition started arguing with the ruling party members, Mr Narayanasamy and ruling party members staged a walk out.


Soon after they left the house, Mr Sivakolandhu informed the house that the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister stood defeated. 

Mr Narayanasamy then left to Raj Nivas to hand over his resignation to the Lt Governor. 

Addressing reporters after tendering his resignation, Mr Narayanasamy said they staged a walk out as the Speaker did not clarify on their demand on the voting rights of three nominated legislators. The Chief Minister said the Speaker did not agree to “our view” that only members elected by the people have the voting rights. 

“As the speaker did not agree, we staged a walkout. Even in our absence, he should have put the motion of confidence to vote. In the meantime, Speaker himself gave a ruling, which is absolutely wrong. But we have the moral responsibility to resign. So I tendered the resignation,” the Congress leader said. 

The Opposition and Centre used the three nominated legislators to destabilise the government, he charged. Of them, two had contested in the 2016 Assembly polls and lost their deposits. BJP leaders, who were rejected by the people, were directly appointed by the Centre and then used as an instrument to topple a democratically elected government, he charged. 

Meanwhile, BJP leaders clarified that the National Democratic Alliance will not stake claim to form the government before the elections. “The National Democratic Alliance will form the government only after the elections,” nominated legislator and BJP local unit president V. Saminathan told The Hindu.

Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has forwarded the resignation letter of Mr. Narayanasamy and a report on the Assembly proceedings to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for its consideration, a source in Raj Nivas told The Hindu.


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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:53:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-cm-narayanasamy-loses-trust-vote/article33900712.ece

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