Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy speaks with media after meeting Congress MLAs in Mumbai on Sunday.
, who lost the motion of confidence moved on the floor of the house earlier in the day, pinned his hopes on assembly speaker VP Sivakolundhu not allowing the three nominated BJP MLAs to cast their votes.
Narayanasamy had claimed till the last moment that the opposition does not have the adequate numbers, and that the three nominated BJP MLAs did not have the power to vote in a floor test. He is also said to have discussed legal experts in this regard.
Narayanasamy even quoted the chief election commissioner and said the nominated MLAs have voting rights but nothing on voting rights during a floor test.
Following this principle, he thought speaker Sivakolundhu might bar the three nominated BJP MLAs from voting on Monday. However, nothing of the sort happened and Narayanasamy lost the
On Sunday evening, the speaker had told the timesofindia.com that the matter was “confidential”.
Asked whether he would allow the three nominated BJP MLAs to cast their vote, Sivakolundhu said, “It is not possible to say. It is confidential.”
With the speaker finally deciding to allow the BJP MLAs to vote, the balance tilted in favour of the opposition.
Had the speaker debarred the BJP MLAs to vote, Narayanasamy could have won the trust vote even though two more ruling coalition MLAs – four-time Congress legislator Lakshminarayanan and DMK MLA Venkatesan – resigned on Sunday reducing the strength of his government to 12.
Earlier, four Congress MLAs resigned from the assembly from January till February 16.
Health and family welfare minister Malladi Krishna Rao quit his ministerial post on January 13 and resigned as an MLA on February 15.
Public works development (PWD) minister A Namassivayam and Congress MLA E Theeppainthan quit on January 25 before joining the BJP.
The next Congress MLA to resign from assembly was A John Kumar, who put in his papers on February 16, thus triggering the current political crisis.
Congress MLA N Danavelu was disqualified in July last year for indulging in anti-party activities.
The strength of the Congress, including the speaker, was reduced to nine. It had won 15 of the 30 elected seats in the 2016 assembly elections. With the support of two DMK MLAs and one independent MLA, Narayanasamy has the support of 12 legislators.
On the other hand, the opposition claimed to have the support of 14 MLAs – seven of the N Rangasamy-led All India NR Congress (AINRC), four of the AIADMK and three nominated legislators of the BJP.
The effective strength of the
was reduced to 26 and the simple majority mark to 14.
With the three nominated BJP MLAs allowed to vote, the opposition won the trust vote 14:12, dealing a body blow to Narayanasamy.
Narayanasamy was asked to face the trust vote by Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararjan who was given additional charge of Puducherry after her predecessor Kiran Bedi was relieved by President
Ram Nath Kovind
on February 16.
Earlier the same day Congress MLA John Kumar had resigned from the assembly. On February 17, the opposition MLAs, led by leader of opposition in the assembly and AINRC chief Rangasamy, submitted a plea to the LG seeking a direction to Narayanasamy to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the house.
Soundararjan, on February 18, ordered a floor test for the Congress government on February 22.
The Congress MLAs met the same evening to chalk out a strategy for the floor test. The discussion remained inconclusive. They met again on Sunday, a day ahead of the trial of strength in the territorial assembly.
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