President’s rule imposed in Puducherry ahead of Narendra Modi’s visit

Published : February 24, 2021 18:45 IST

Former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy addressing a protest meeting along with Thol. Thirumavalavan of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and others against the toppling of the Congress-DMK government in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou

The Union Cabinet on February 24 recommended the imposition of President’s rule in Puducherry after Lieutenant-Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan wrote to the Centre on the issue. No party or combine came forward to stake claim to form the government for the remaining few three months left in the term of the Assembly.

Since the election announcement is expected to be out in early March, it effectively limits the tenure of any new combine staking claim to under a week. The only viable party which could have staked claim was the All India NR Congress, but its leader, N. Rangaswamy, was reluctant to hold office for a short duration. Rangaswamy told Frontline on February 22 that he was waiting for a call from the Lieutenant-Governor. He did not stake a claim of his own accord after discussing the issue with his partymen. This is possibly because anecdotal evidence from the ground indicated that the people did not approve of the decision.

The Congress government in Puducherry lost its majority following a spate of resignations by its MLAs last week. The Congress spokesperson, Dinesh Gundu Rao, claimed that some of the resignations were because of direct threats from Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy met Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and handed over his resignation on February 22. Three nominated MLAs, all belonging to the BJP, added to the opposition numbers in the 30-member House and pulled down the government.

Narayanasamy said the people of Puducherry would give a befitting lesson to the BJP and all those who aided the BJP in destablising an elected government. He named the NR Congress as the party that was the primary reason for the BJP working on a plan to destablise the government for the past two years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Puducherry on February 25 to inaugurate a few projects in a bid to shore up the Bharatiya Janata Party’s image ahead of the election.