Hours after the Congress lost power in Puducherry, the biggest opposition party, NR Congress, said it had not staked claim to form the next government but was waiting for the Lieutenant Governor’s invite. “I have not staked claim to form the government – I had only sought a Trust Vote,” NR Congress chief N Rangaswamy said.
All eyes are on the opposition party, which has a majority in the Puducherry assembly, after the Congress government of V Narayanasamy collapsed this morning, just three months before elections.
The Congress-DMK coalition fell short of the majority mark of 14 in the 26-member assembly after six resignations, two of them just yesterday. In all, five Congress and one DMK MLA have quit.
Mr Narayanasamy accused the NR Congress and the BJP of bringing down his government by engineering defections.
The NR Congress chief denied it in an exclusive interview to NDTV. He also said he would consult his allies – including the BJP — and take a call on forming a government that will last only till the elections due by May.
“If there is a letter from the Lieutenant Governor, I will decide after discussing with allies,” Mr Rangaswamy said.
On whether he would lead a coalition government, he replied: “I can’t say anything about it now. We will know only after consultations with our alliance partners.”
He also avoided any response to questions about a “plan to strengthen the BJP” in Puducherry. “We shall answer after holding talks with other parties,” he repeated.
On the Congress’s allegations that its MLAs were lured away with money, Mr Rangaswamy replied: “Their MLAs may have resigned because they did not do anything during their rule and they were scared that people will not vote for them.”
Two of the MLAs who quit Congress have switched to the BJP and more are expected to follow.
The BJP, which has no presence in the Union Territory, has nominated three of its members in the assembly who may become ministers if the NR Congress decides to take power in an alliance.