Three more Congress MLAs are set to resign from the Assembly in Puducherry, a key BJP leader claimed on Friday even as he asserted that the beleaguered V Narayanasamy government would lose the trust vote. Two of the four Congress MLAs who quit the House — A Namassivayam and E Theeppainthan — have already joined the BJP.
BJP in-charge of the Union Territory, Nirmal Kumar Surana said the other two Congress MLAs — Malladi Krishna Rao and A John Kumar — would join the J P Nadda-led party. "The two will be joining the BJP. They are speaking with our leadership," Surana, also Vice-President of Karnataka unit of the BJP, said.
"Certainly, 100 per cent", he said when asked if the Congress government would lose the vote of confidence in the House. "That's the only option, I feel", Surana responded to a question on whether imposition of President's Rule is a possibility in the poll-bound Puducherry.
The newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry Tamilisai Soundararajan directed the Assembly Secretariat on Thursday to convene the House on February 22 for the Trust vote. Surana declined to name the three Congress MLAs he claimed would quit the Assembly.
"I cannot talk now. They are unhappy with Narayanasamy and they want to resign. Hundred per cent they are going to resign", he said. On whether the BJP is open to taking these three MLAs into its fold, Surana said whoever accepts BJP's ideology and whoever wants to join for the development of Puducherry, his party is ready to take them.
Ruling Congress MLAs met in Puducherry on Thursday night after the Chief Minister was asked to prove his majority in the assembly on February 22. They did not take any decision on the future course of action and resolved to meet again a day ahead of the trust vote.
In the 33-member assembly with an effective strength of 28, the Congress has ten members, including the Speaker, while its alliance partner DMK has three and lone independent from Mahe region also supports it. The opposition parties also have 14 members, including the three nominated (BJP), and have said that the ruling dispensation no longer has a majority.
Emerging from the inconclusive meeting held at his residence on Thursday night, an embattled Narayanasamy contended that the three nominated MLAs (all BJP) in the union territory assembly do not have rights to vote on a confidence motion and the opposition strength was only 11 and not 14 as maintained by them. He charged the BJP with intensifying its design to topple the Congress government, which has been hit by resignations of four party MLAs, including two ministers since last month.
Surana denied Narayanasamy's allegation. "He (Narayanasamy) could not keep his flock in his fold and he is accusing others. He has not performed and he has been accusing the Lieutenant-Governor. He has not worked and he has been telling lies", Surana said.
He said the Election Commission might announce the poll schedule for Puducherry in the next one week or ten days. Elections are due in Puducherry and neighbouring Tamil Nadu by May.