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Toppling Govt Using Nominated Members, says Narayanasamy

Anju Grover Anju Grover
01 Mar 2021

President’s rule has been imposed in Puducherry after the fall of the Congress-led Narayanasamy government. The government was reduced to minority after five MLAs from the Congress and one from its ally DMK resigned in the last fortnight. Some of them, after jumping the ship, have joined the BJP. 

With the fall of its government in Puducherry, Congress is now out of power in South India. This has come as a big blow to the party which had received many jolts in North and North-East India after 2014. 

Anju Grover for Indian Currents spoke to former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy to know more about the reasons for desertion of some of its MLAs and the BJP's success in luring them. Narayanasamy, who has been holding closed-door meetings with loyal MLAs and other party leaders and apprising the top leadership in Delhi about the developments, has accused the BJP of destabilising the government. 
Q: There is a President's rule in Puducherry now. What led to this development? 

A: The BJP government at the Centre and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi had been targetting the Congress-DMK government from the time it was formed in 2016. I have the great satisfaction of running the government for five years by defeating the sinister designs of the BJP, resisting interference of Kiran Bedi and the ploy of NR Congress leader to topple the government. I have successfully carried ministers and MLAs with me who were also targetted by them. I had always apprised the party leadership about BJP's tactics.

Q: How was BJP troubling you and why did it do when just weeks were left for the elections to take place?

A: One of my ministers who was also the PCC president earlier was hand-in-glove with the BJP. But I had to run the government and, therefore, I was silently working all these years. Otherwise, my government would have gone long ago. 
Poaching, misuse of Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department and CBI and buying MLAs are BJP’s traits to bring down a Congress or non-BJP governments. It used these tactics in Puducherry also. It has done so in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The BJP has used money and Centre's power to cripple the Congress governments and form its own government through backdoor. Puducherry is a classic case where an elected government with a comfortable majority has been toppled by the nominated members. The nominated members had earlier contested and lost the election.
Q: Why did your MLAs quit? What about the credibility of your own MLAs? 

A: I had kept the flock together for five years. It was only few days before the model code of conduct came into existence, five MLAs including two ministers from the Congress and one from the DMK quit. I did not want to use unethical methods to stop them. I ran an honest government for five years.

Q: Will BJP get benefit from the fall of Congress government?

A: The BJP had made several attempts to topple my government with the help of Opposition parties. The Centre had misused its power and unleashed CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department to threaten ministers and lure MLAs. They did it with the support of the regional parties AIADMK and NR Congress. I defeated their sinister design in toppling our Congress-DMK government for so long. They did this operation to create an impression in the minds of the public. With President's rule in place, they will have advantages.

Q: What will be Congress's electoral strategy for Puducherry?

A: The Congress leadership has always shown faith in me. With the blessings from both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi I had been successfully running the government since 2016. Despite the fact that Narendra Modi government created hurdles and not released funds, blocked all the schemes, Kiran Bedi interfered in administrative work, I ran the government very successfully. Puducherry's GDP growth rate is 10.2 percent in pandemic year while Modi government's GDP is 0.7 % only. Puducherry's fiscal deficit is 1.9 % while Narendra Modi government's fiscal deficit is 9.5 %. I ran the government effectively and efficiently. Narendra Modi government has been targetting the Opposition-ruled states. Look at what is happening in West Bengal.

Q: MLAs who deserted you alleged that they were not too happy with your style of functioning.

A: If they were not happy with my style of functioning then why didn't they leave one or two years ago. They left now because of the BJP. That party lured or threatened them. The fact is that none of them had any problem with my leadership. I had great difficulty in keeping the flock together because of the BJP's undemocratic tactics. In West Bengal, the BJP is using the same tactics to lure TMC ministers and leaders. Some of them have fallen prey to the BJP and quit TMC. Many are still leaving Mamata Banerjee. 

Q: Will you be the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress in Puducherry election?

A: I am not a chief ministerial candidate. I am a Congress worker. I will work for my party. I am a loyal worker of the top leadership of Congress party. My loyalty is towards Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. I will work hard to bring the Congress-DMK alliance back to power.

Q: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated and laid foundation stones of various development projects in Puducherry. Your comments.

A: We have started 180-km Villupuram-Nagapattinam National Highway project in 2014 which was to be converted into 4-lane. PM is laying foundation stone now. It shows the efficiency of the Central government. PM has made several promises to people but never fulfilled them.

Q: What are the lessons learnt from the fall of your government?

A: The biggest lesson (I learnt) is that we should give tickets to loyal Congress workers. We will find out good candidates from within the party.

Q: What about alliance between the Congress and the DMK?

A: The Congress-DMK alliance will contest elections in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. Senior leaders of Congress are already talking to DMK leaders. 

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