Ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the Union territory to kickstart the poll campaign, the Congress received a big jolt with an MLA resigning from the party.

The Congress’s strength in the assembly has reduced to 10 as the BJP is trying to make inroads with the help of the AIADMK and the NR Congress in the Union Territory.

BJP leaders say that the party is getting stronger day by day and it’s because of the Congress’s policies that its leaders are leaving the party.

In the last few weeks, the Congress in Puducherry has seen four among its senior-most leaders and MLAs resig, including senior leader Namasivayam. On Tuesday its Kamarajnagar MLA John Kumar also quit the party.

While other Congress MLAs Malladi Krishna Rao quit on February 15, former PWD Minister A. Namassivayamy and E. Theeppainjan resigned on January 25. N. Dhanavelu, a Congress member, was disqualified in July last year for alleged anti-party activities.

With back-to-back resignations, Congress’s numbers plummetted to way below the halfway mark and triggered a crisis. The Congress and DMK had a combined strength of 16 MLAs in the 30-member Puducherry assembly. The resignations have taken the Congress-led government to below 10 and the Opposition now has 14 MLAs.

However, sources close to the Chief Minister said the government in the UT is safe as the strength of the assembly has reduced. Puducherry is likely to go to polls along with other states in April-May this year.

The Congress seems to on the desdendent in Puducherry. Most observers say that the exodus is because of dissatisfaction against the politics of the Chief Minister V Narayansamy.

Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Puducherry on February 17.

The Congress leader will also be visiting Tamil Nadu on February 27, 28 and March 1. He will be touring Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari.

–IANS

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