The Congress-DMK led government lost its majority in the Confidence motion at the Puducherry assembly, the Assembly Speaker announced today(Monday, 22 February), as the alliance members staged a walkout, just months before the elections are scheduled to be held in the Union territory.
Earlier on Monday, addressing the Assembly during a special session ahead of the floor test ordered by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had insisted that he has a majority and sought the confidence vote.
The newly appointed Puducherry Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan had asked Chief Minister V Narayanasamy to prove his government’s majority in the Legislative Assembly. The L-G has also directed that votes will be counted by a show of hands, and the entire proceedings of the Assembly will be recorded.
Following the confidence motion, the Congress-DMK government has lost majority in the House. Six MLAs of the ruling alliance have resigned from the Legislative Assembly over the last month, including two on Sunday, the eve of the trust vote.
Puducherry trust vote: Numbers in the House
The strength of the Legislative Assembly is 33, including 30 elected MLAs and three MLAs nominated by the central government.
In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Congress won 15 seats and one MLA was removed under the anti-defection law. 5 of these MLAs have resigned, including the recent one on Sunday.
The Congress is supported in the Assembly by the DMK which had three MLAs. On Sunday, one of these MLAs resigned.
As Sunday evening, the ruling coalition had the support of 12 MLAs — 9 of the Congress, 2 of the DMK, and one Independent.In 2018, the central government nominated 3 MLAs, who are BJP functionaries, to the Legislative Assembly. For the trust vote, after the six resignations and one disqualification, the strength of the Puducherry Assembly was 26.
In the House of 26 currently, the government has 12 MLAs. This includes the Speaker, a Congress MLA who cannot vote unless there is a tie.
The opposition has 14 MLAs — 7 from N R Congress, 4 from the AIADMK, and 3 nominated MLAs. Chief Minister Narayanasamy has raised contention that the nominated MLAs do not have the power to vote in a confidence motion as they were not elected by the people.