One more Cong MLA quits in Pondy; govt's strength drops to 13

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Puducherry, Feb 21 (PTI) One more ruling Congress MLA in Puducherry resigned from his post on Sunday, delivering yet another jolt to Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who is scheduled to face a floor test on February 22 to prove majority.

K Lakshminarayanan, elected from the Raj Bhavan constituency, tendered his resignation to Assembly Speaker V P Sivakolundhu at the latter's residence.

Later, he told reporters that 'this government led by Narayanasamy has lost majority.' Lakshminarayanan said he has also resigned from the party membership.

Following his resignation, the second this week, the Congress' strength further slipped to 13, while the opposition has 14 MLAs in the 33-member house which has five vacancies.

Four Congress MLAs—including ex-ministers A Namassivayam (now in BJP) and Malladi Krishna Rao had quit, while another party legislator was earlier disqualified.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, handed over additional charge of Puducherry, had on Thursday directed Narayanasamy to prove majority by ordering a floor test on February 22.

Lakshminarayanan's resignation comes on a day when the ruling party members are slated to meet under the CM to discuss the future course of action though similar discussions on February 18 yielded no results. PTI COR SA ROH ROH