Puducherry’s lone woman minister quits, cites caste & gender bias

Priyanga, elected from the Nedungadu (SC) constituency in the Karaikal region of the Union Territory on AINRC ticket, was the second woman minister in Puducherry in nearly 40 years.
FILE - Chandira Priyanga. (Photo| ANI)
FILE - Chandira Priyanga. (Photo| ANI)

PUDUCHERRY:  Puducherry’s lone woman minister, S Chandira Priyanga, on Tuesday tendered her resignation from the AINRC-BJP ministry, alleging politics of conspiracy and money power, and casteism and gender bias. Chief Minister N Rangasamy has declined to comment on the issue. There is no official confirmation yet from the CM or Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on whether her resignation has been accepted.  

Priyanga, elected from the Nedungadu (SC) constituency in the Karaikal region of the Union Territory on AINRC ticket, was the second woman minister in Puducherry in nearly 40 years. In a letter addressed to the people of Karaikal, Priyanga, who held multiple portfolios, including Adi Dravidar welfare, labour, housing, art and culture, and economics and statistics, said that despite her best efforts as both a minister and a legislator, she felt targeted by vested interests.

“Though I functioned with the dual pride of being a Dalit and a woman, I felt constantly subjected to casteism and gender bias,” she said in her letter.  She assured people of her constituency that she would continue to fulfill her duties as a legislator.

‘Resignation on advice of Pondy CM’

“To those who blindly criticise my activities as a minister, I promise I will soon submit a list of what changes, improvements and reforms I have made in departments since taking charge,” Priyanga said. She also assured the people of her constituency that she would continue to fulfill her duties as a legislator.

Chandira Priyanga thanked the CM and urged him to fill the vacancy created by her resignation with a legislator from Vanniyar, Dalit, or minority communities. The resignation comes days after the CM called on L-G Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and apprised her of his decision to drop Priyanga from the cabinet.

Subsequently, Priyanga tendered her resignation on the advice of the CM, sources said. When journalists approached the CM for his comments, he said he would speak to them only if he had invited them. Meanwhile, leader of opposition and Puducherry DMK convenor R Siva said the CM should reconsider his decision to drop Priyanga. Home Minister and leader of BJP’s legislature wing A Namassivayam refused to comment on the CM’s decision.

CM asked her to quit 
Resignation comes days after the CM called on Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and apprised her of his decision to drop Priyanga from the council of ministers. Priyanga tendered her resignation on the advice of the CM, sources said 

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