PUDUCHERRY: Just days ahead of the commencement of the budget session of the Pondicherry Assembly on September 8, ruling All India NR Congress party loyalists V Bhalan and Ayyanar alias NS Jayabal and state BJP President M Viswesvaran have been appointed as nominated MLAs to Puducherry Assembly by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday.
They nominated MLAs called on Chief minister N Rangasamy at his office for his ‘blessings’. The nominated MLAs enjoy equal rights as elected MLAs in terms of tenure, salary, perks, rights and privileges. However, there is ambiguity in their voting rights and they cannot vote in Presidential elections and election of Rajya Sabha members. The term of the three newly appointed MLAs would last till the 2016 Assembly elections. The three MLAs will be administered the oath as a member on September 4 in the office of Speaker V Sabapathy, said Rangasamy. With this, the strength of the AINRC will go up to 17 in the 33 member house comprising 30 elected and three nominated MLAs.
On the other hand, BJP makes its entry in Legislative Assembly for the second time after its maiden entry in the Legislative Assembly in 2001 when A M Krishnamurthy was elected from Reddiarpalayam.
The ruling party’s move is seen as a step to not only fulfil its political compulsions, but strengthen the party in the Assembly, particularly in the context of some MLAs showing signs of revolt by locking up their offices in the Assembly. Giving a seat to the BJP is also a part of its commitment of supporting the AINRC candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. After the AINRC government came to power in May 2011, the CM had recommended a three member list in June 2011. However, the proposal was not approved under Congress. After the change of guard, the government moved the proposal and the appointment has been made.
Opposition slammed the fact that the nominated MLAs are political appointees. “If the government had appointed a woman, since there is no representation of women in the Assembly, or chosen people proficient in various fields then it would have been appropriate,” said AIADMK MLA A Anbazhagan.