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    Four MLAs quit Congress in Puducherry on day of Rahul Gandhi’s visit

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    Trouble seems to be mounting for the Congress party in Puducherry ahead of the Assembly elections in the Union territory as another party MLA tendered his resignation, leaving the V Narayanasamy-led government short of a majority.

    Congress MLA A John Kumar resigned from the party on Tuesday, citing “dissatisfaction with the Congress government” in the Union territory.

    Kumar, who was the MLA of Kamaraj Nagar constituency, is the fourth Congress lawmaker to quit the party ahead of Gandhi’s scheduled visit to Puducherry where the Assembly election is due in the next few months.

    After his resignation, the strength of the ruling Congress in the Union territory has come down to 10 in the House of 30 MLAs. The Congress had bagged 14 Assembly seats in the last polls in the state. The party has the support of two DMK MLAs and an Independent.

    Earlier on Monday, Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao, who had earlier quit the state cabinet, resigned as a member of the territorial Assembly.

    Last month, state’s PWD minister A Namassivayam resigned from the state cabinet and also from the Assembly after the ruling Congress suspended him from primary membership for “anti-party activities”. Congress legislator E Theepainthan also quit from the Assembly.

    Gandhi is scheduled to kick-start Congress’ poll campaign in the poll-bound Union territory of Puducherry on February 17.

    During his visit, Gandhi will address fishermen in neighbouring Solai Nagar in Muthialpet Assembly constituency and later interact with students of the Bharathidasan Government College for women.

    The Union Territory, along with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, will go to the Assembly polls in April-May later this year.

    The Congress party will fight the polls with the parties constituting the secular democratic alliance including the DMK, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said.

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