In Puducherry, ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit, two Congress MLAs quit in two days

Published : February 16, 2021 14:06 IST

A. John Kumar. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Malladi Krishna Rao. Photo: K.N. Murali Sankar

On February 16, a day after Malladi Krishna Rao, a Minister in the Congress government in Puducherry, resigned his Assembly seat with an announcement on Twitter, another Congress MLA, John Kumar, resigned his post, leaving the party with 14 members in the 30-member Legislative Assembly. There is no immediate danger to the government because Puducherry goes to the polls along with Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam in the next few months.

John Kumar claimed that he was “dissatisfied with the performance of the Congress government,” submitted his resignation to the Speaker, V.P. Sivakolundhu. The Speaker announced later that he had accepted the resignation. He said a decision on asking the government to prove its majority would be taken in due course of time. The resignation came just a day before Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was slated to visit Puducherry on an election campaign.

On February 15, Malladi Krishna Rao tweeted his resignation letter. It said: “I hereby tender my resignation of my seat in the House with effect from 15.02. 2021.” The Speaker said the resignation letter had been sent to him via WhatsApp. He was yet to receive the resignation letter via post. This was a formality. Once he received the letter, he would accept the same, he added. The 56-year-old leader from Yanam has been a sitting member of the House since 1996, and was felicitated in January for his service to the people of Yanam, which lies on the banks of the Godavari and is surrounded by Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier, PWD Minister A. Namassivayam and MLA S. Theepainthan had resigned in late January. Both of them joined the Bharatiya Janata Party at the party headquarters in New Delhi. Namassivayam, a local Congress heavyweight, was initially suspended from the party soon after his plan to quit became clear. But he did not make any efforts to patch up, as his grouse was that he was given an assurance which the Congress leadership did not keep. Following his resignation, over a dozen leaders from the Pradesh Congress Committee too resigned.

Given the multiplicity of issues facing the government, Chief Minister V. Narayasamy convened an emergency meeting of party seniors to counter the moves of the BJP and the opposition.

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