Supporters Of Disqualified Congress MLA Protest In Puducherry

N Dhanavelou supporters took out a procession in Bahoor protesting against the action taken on him and raised slogans against the Chief Minister V Narayanasamy.

Supporters Of Disqualified Congress MLA Protest In Puducherry

N Dhanavelou was on Friday disqualified by the Assembly Speaker under the Anti-defection Act.

Puducherry:

Shops and establishments in Bahoor, a rural Assembly segment in Puducherry, remained closed on Saturday following a call given by supporters of rebel legislator of the ruling Congress N Dhanavelou.

Mr Dhanavelou was on Friday disqualified by the Assembly Speaker VP Sivakolundhu under the Anti-defection Act.

Mr Dhanavelou's supporters took out a procession in Bahoor protesting against the action taken on him and raised slogans against the Chief Minister V Narayanasamy.

The rebel MLA had been up in arms against the Narayanasamy-headed Congress government for nearly a year.

He had held a procession in his constituency in January to lay siege to the Primary Health Centre to protest against alleged shortage of medicines and ambulances in the hospital.

He had also levelled charges against the Chief Minister and presented a petition to the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi a few days after holding the agitation.

A delegation of Congress legislators led by the government Whip RKR Anandaraman presented a petition to the Speaker on January 30 seeking disqualification of Mr Dhanavelou, who was also chairman of Puducherry government-owned Civil Supplies Corporation (PAPSCO).

He was first suspended from the Congress on the basis of the recommendation of the high command whose attention was drawn by the PCC to the alleged anti-party and anti-government activities of Mr Dhanavelou.

With his disqualification the strength of the Congress in the Assembly has come down from 15 to 14.

The Congress government enjoys the support of the three-member DMK in the House.

The Assembly has one Independent member, besides seven AINRC legislators, four AIADMK on the opposition side and three nominated legislators belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mr Dhanavelou is the second legislator of Puducherry Assembly to be disqualified during the last four years.

A spokesman of the Rural People's Welfare Movement said Mr Dhanavelou had not shifted his allegiance to any party but had only highlighted the grievances of the people in his constituency, particularly in getting medical facilities.

"Invoking provisions of the Anti-Defection Act to disqualify him as member of the House is improper and a clear case of irrelevant application of the law," he said.

AIADMK legislature party leader A Anbalagan said that with the disqualification of the ruling Congress member, the four-year-old Congress rule in Puducherry had lost majority in the Assembly.

Mr Anbalagan appealed to Bedi to intervene and give directions to the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House without loss of time.

"Disqualification of a member when the government's attention should be focused on anti-pandemic measures is an utterly unnecessary step," Mr Anbalagan said.