Ending speculation, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has recommended President’s rule in the Union Territory, media reports said.
The new L-G’s decision came days after the Congress lost power and the BJP and its allies clarified that they would not stake their claim to form the government.
Assembly polls are due in Puducherry soon. Uncertainty gripped the UT on Monday when the Congress lost power after it failed to prove its majority in a floor test following exit of its MLAs.
Tendering his resignation, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy accused the BJP of toppling his government.
The high drama in the UT started with a sudden exit of Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor, a move seen as a foil for the BJP’s tactic to rid the southern UT of the Congress rule a few months before the Assembly polls in the UT as well as in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Her exit was followed by depletion in the ruling alliance ranks.
The power tussle also highlighted the peculiar constitutional status of Puducherry, where Centre’s three nominated MLAs are allowed to participate in a trust vote. In 2018, the Congress-led government opposed the nomination of the three Puducherry MLAs before the Madras High Court. The plea said the Centre did not consult the Puducherry government on the nominated members. The High Court upheld the nominations of the three BJP members. The case then went to the Supreme Court.
In December 2018, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court held that no consultation with the Puducherry government was required before nominating members.
The court held that the 1963 law did not distinguish between elected and nominated MLAs. Therefore, the nominated MLAs enjoyed voting powers at par with elected MLAs, and were empowered to vote in a no-confidence motion.