Resignations put ruling Congress in trouble in Puducherry


The strength of the Congress-DMK combine in the house is now on par with that of the Opposition

Ahead of Congress leader Rahul Gandhiโ€™s visit to Puducherry on Wednesday, the ruling party on Tuesday suffered another jolt with one more legislator, A. John Kumar, resigning his MLAโ€™s post, thereby bringing the strength of Congress-DMK combine in the house on par with that of the Opposition.

Mr. Kumar submitted the resignation to Speaker V. P Sivakolandhu at his residence.

The Congress has witnessed a spate of resignations in the recent weeks starting with the resignation of A. Namassivayam who was considered second-in command in the Ministry and Congress legislator Theeppainthan.

On Monday evening, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao took to Twitter to announce his resignation as MLA. He also posted a letter to Speaker V. Sivakolandhu announcing his resignation from the Assembly. The Speakerโ€™s Office, however, did not comment on the resignation of Mr. Rao. The recent resignations have brought down the strength of the Assembly from 33 to 28.

The latest resignation had brought down the strength of Congress in the house to 10. Together with its alliance partner DMK, 3, and the support of an Independent, the ruling party has a strength of 14 in the 28-member house. The principal Opposition party All India N. R Congress has 7 and its allies All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) 4, and 3 nominated legislators (belonging to BJP).

There are reports of more people resigning from the MLA post. Mr Namassivayam and Theeppainthan have already joined the BJP. Political sources say Mr. Kumar was also expected to join the saffron party in the next few days.

The BJP and AIADMK have asked the ruling front to prove their majority in the house.

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