It was only last Wednesday that Rahul Gandhi landed in Puducherry to campaign for the Congress party ahead of the state’s elections in April-May this year. While on his visit to the state, Rahul Gandhi had taken to play a fool, an ignoramus and even a tele-evangelist kind of a person, as it now turns out, less than a week after the Gandhi scion’s visit to Puducherry, the Congress government has lost its majority and the Chief Minister and his cabinet have tendered their resignations. Two MLAs had quit the Congress in January, and two more prior to Gandhi’s visit last week.
Up until Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Puducherry, the Narayansamy government was already clutching on to last straws. However, on Sunday, two more Congress MLAs resigned, spelling a death knell for the state government’s hopes of somehow keeping their claim to the throne afloat. Prior to the resignation of the two MLAs on Sunday, the Congress was hoping to sail through the trust vote with help from the AIADMK. However, the two resignations reduced the government’s strength to 12 – two short of the majority mark needed to remain in power.
The Congress-DMK ruling alliance had the support of 12 MLAs (including an Independent) in the House whose effective strength is now 26, while the opposition alliance has 14 MLAs. After the resignation of four MLAs, pushing V Narayanaswamy’s government into a minority, the opposition had demanded a floor test, which the Congress lost spectacularly earlier today. In the Assembly today, Narayanasamy accused the opposition of trying to topple the government. “Former LG Kiran Bedi and Central Government colluded with the Opposition and tried to topple the government. It is clear that the people of Puducherry trust us. This is a government elected by the people,” he said.
Interestingly, the Congress alliance, comprising of 12 MLAs staged a walkout from the Puducherry assembly even before the motion of confidence was taken up for vote. “The Speaker’s ruling is incorrect. BJP govt at the Centre, NR Congress & AIADMK have succeeded in dislodging our govt by using voting power used by 3 nominated members. This is murder of democracy. The people of Puducherry and this country will teach them a lesson,” V Narayanasamy said after tendering his resignation.
Last week, Rahul Gandhi had made a clown out of himself in Puducherry. One would have thought that a bulk of the Gandhi scion’s focus would be on resolving the political crisis in the state. However, the man-child rather took to turning his two-day visit into a cringe fest of unprecedented magnitude. From behaving like a television evangelist before who devotees go maniacal, to talking nonsense with the fishermen – Rahul Gandhi did it all.
Perhaps as a consequence of the same disastrous visit, Narayanaswamy (who last week had twisted a fisherwoman’s complaint before Rahul Gandhi to make it sound like she was praising the chief minister) was unable to save the Congress government in the state.