The political scenario of Puducherry is extensively changing as the Congress government collapsed on Monday following the motion of confidence moved by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on the floor of the assembly was defeated. The Chief Minister handed over his resignation along with that of his council of ministers to Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan.
Though Narayanasamy moved the motion seeking the confidence vote minutes after the Assembly met for a special one-day session, he and his ruling side MLAs later walked out before the motion was put for voting. Earlier speaking in the House, Narayanasamy said that former Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Central Government colluded with the Opposition in a bid to topple his government in the Union territory.
After a series of resignations from Congress, the ruling government was reduced to a strength of 11 against the opposition’s 14.
While Congress is also competiting against opposition in other states like West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, the party still has held its roots firm in Chattisgarh, Punjab and Rajasthan. In the state of Maharashtra, it is one of the allies of the Maha Vikas Aghadi which is jointly run with NCP and Shiv Sena. Here is a closer look at Congress' position in Punjab, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.
Congress in Punjab: Ahead of the assembly elections in the state, the party has a total of 80 seats out of 117 in the legislative assembly. Ahead of assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory, the Congress won a major electoral victory - in the Punjab civic polls. Of the seven municipal corporations whose poll results were declared on Wednesday, the Congress bagged six. This was the first popular election in Punjab since farmers (from Punjab and elsewhere) began protesting over the new central farm laws. And, the victory for the Congress has come just a year before the Captain Amarinder Singh government faces an assembly election early 2022.
The agitation of farmers against the BJP government-led farm laws proved to be advantageous for the Congress in Punjab. It is possibly the only state in the country where Congress can claim a pro-incumbency element.
Congress in Rajasthan: The party has a total of 107 seats out of 200 in the legislative assembly. Like Punjab, the ruling party recently won the posts of chairpersons in 48 of the 90 urban local bodies in 20 districts of Rajasthan, which went to polls recently. The urban local bodies for which the polling was held on January 28 included nine municipal councils and 80 municipalities. One candidate of Nationalist Congress Party and another of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party made it to the posts of chairpersons in Bikaner district’s Nokha municipality and Nagaur district’s Mundwa municipality, respectively.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Ajay Maken said the Congress victory in the State’s urban areas was the “first of its kind”, as the party candidates had won in 120 of the 195 urban bodies where the chairpersons were elected in the polls since November 2019.
A series of farmers' rallies organised by the Congress in Rajasthan exposed the faultlines of BJP as the party set about following Rahul Gandhi's instructions to extend support to farmers across the state. The rallies were seen as shows of strength and drawing of bigger crowds seen as a factor to establish political credentials.
Congress in Chattisgarh: The party has a total of 70 seats out of 90 seats in legislative assembly in the state. In 2018, Chhattisgarh Congress had defied all exit polls and shocked political pundits, winning 68 seats out of 90, thereby snatching power from BJP after 15 years. Congress currently has 70 MLAs there as it won two by-elections. Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had recently passed a resolution seeking Rahul Gandhi as party president.
Within a span of one week, two state units of the party had also passed resolutions backing Gandhi's return as party chief. While Delhi Congress also had passed a resolution requesting Gandhi to take over as chief.