Day before floor test, Puducherry CM Narayanasamy to meet MLAs | Key points - Hindustan Times
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Day before floor test, Puducherry CM Narayanasamy to meet MLAs | Key points

By | Written by Karan Manral
Feb 21, 2021 09:14 AM IST

The fate of the Congress-led government in the Union territory hangs in the balance and will be determined on Monday.

Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy will on Sunday hold a meeting with his MLAs, the second this week, to discuss the floor test to be held on Monday. The ruling Congress slipped from the halfway mark in the 33-member assembly after four of its MLAs resigned from the cabinet. The crisis in Puducherry comes just months before the Union Territory goes to polls in April-May.

Also Read | Cong loses Puducherry majority after 4 MLAs quit; Kiran Bedi replaced

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Here are some key points, a day before the floor test in the House:

1. CM Narayanasamy had met the MLAs on Thursday as well, immediately after orders for the floor test were issued.

Also Read | Puducherry floor test: BJP trying to topple elected govt, says CM Narayanasamy

2. The week began with the resignation of Puducherry health minister Malladi Krishna Rao on February 15, followed by that of MLA A John Kumar the very next day. Four Congress MLAs have resigned since January, including Rao and Kumar. The other two, then-PWD minister A Namassivayam and E Theepaindan, resigned last month and joined the BJP. Another MLA, N Dhanavelu, was disqualified last July for ‘anti-party’ activities.

3. Also on February 16, Kiran Bedi was removed as the lieutenant governor of Puducherry, and Telangana governor Tamilisali Soundararjan was given additional charge of the UT. Within hours of taking oath on February 18, Soundararajan ordered a floor test for February 22. The floor test, as per the LG’s orders, is to be done by 5pm on the day.

4. The test was ordered as, according to the Opposition, the Congress-led government has lost its majority in the House. With the loss of five MLAs, Congress’ strength in the legislative assembly has been reduced to 10, including the Speaker. It has the support of three DMK MLAs and an independent lawmaker. The Opposition claims that it has equal numbers, 14.

5. The Puducherry legislative assembly has 33 seats. Of these, 30 members are elected directly by the people while three are nominated by the central government. The Congress-led coalition earlier had 19 lawmakers, above the majority mark of 16. Now, with five MLAs gone, the effective strength of the House is down to 28 with the new majority mark being 15.

6. The legislative assembly will reassemble for a ‘special’ session on February 22, assembly secretary R Mounissamy announced on Friday. Narayansamy, meanwhile, has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to bring down his ‘democratically-elected government.’

7. The floor test marks a challenge for Congress as it is on the verge of losing yet another government before the completion of its term. In March last year, its 15-month-old government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed while a similar outcome was just about averted in Rajasthan in July. In 2019, the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka, too, had collapsed. The BJP formed governments in both MP and Karnataka.

8. The political crisis in Puducherry coincided with a two-day visit to the UT by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

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