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People will give befitting reply to BJP for 'subverting' mandate in Puducherry: Moily

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New Delhi, Feb 24: Accusing the BJP of using money power to make the Congress government fall in Puducherry, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said the people will give a befitting reply to the saffron party in upcoming polls for "subverting" a popular mandate, and asserted that upholding democratic ideals will be the main issue in the elections.

Veerappa Moily

Moily, who is the Congress'' senior observer for upcoming polls in the Union Territory, also said the party''s alliance with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will continue, and together they will get a "thumping" majority in the elections.

In an interview with PTI, Moily claimed the Puducherry polls will mark the "beginning of the fall of the BJP" in the country and the strengthening of democratic power through the Congress party.

Lashing out at the BJP, the former Union minister said they never allowed the Congress government to function in Puducherry by fronting then Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi.

"Her only exclusive mission was that the Congress government does not function.

From time to time, the issue was brought to the notice of Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Home Minister (Amit Shah), either through media or directly by the CM V Narayansamy, but they did not listen," Moily said.

His attack on BJP comes two days after the Congress government in Puducherry fell after Chief Minister Narayanasamy resigned ahead of the confidence vote in the Assembly with the coalition ministry reduced to a minority due to a spate of resignations of party MLAs and a DMK legislator recently.

PM Modi to address BJP public meeting, launch projects in Puducherry on February 25PM Modi to address BJP public meeting, launch projects in Puducherry on February 25

Moily alleged the central government led by Modi and Shah "killed democracy" in Puducherry for the last four-five years as no development programme was allowed to prosper.

He claimed that MLAs were also suffocated and were given the impression that even if the government was elected back, Bedi will not allow even the new dispensation to function.

"They (BJP) lured them with money and power. The MLAs were tempted as they were already frustrated with the government not being allowed to function," he said.

Moily described the spate of resignations of MLAs and the fall of the government as an "open massacre of democracy directly abetted" by the Government of India through the Lieutenant Governor.

However, he said the government fell not because of the spate of resignations but due to nominated MLAs being allowed to vote.

"Nominating three MLAs and giving them the power to vote was the most undemocratic thing that could be done. Even the judiciary also did not act very quickly," he said.

Asked about Bedi''s removal as LG recently, Moily claimed that the BJP thought that it would help them in the polls as the electorate would have run against it because she did not allow the government to function.

"So, they want to put everything on Kiran Bedi. Even though Kiran Bedi was only a puppet in their hands now they will put everything on her and say she has done it and we have no role to play. This is the game played against Congress," he alleged.

On what would be the key poll plank in the upcoming elections, Moily said upholding democratic ideals will be the main issue.

"Supporting BJP in Puducherry would mean writing the epitaph of the Constitution, in other words, people will not vote for BJP because of the game played by it against the basic tenets of democracy," he said.

Moily said the polls will be about the subversion of people''s mandate by the BJP.

"This naked display of autocracy and throwing the principles of democracy to the wind will be given a befitting reply by the electorate," he said.

Moily hailed Narayansamy for his work as the chief minister while dealing with natural calamities and in controlling COVID-19.

"The people will punish them (BJP). They have committed the gravest crime by obstructing benefits of development to reach people," he said.

Moily said the people of Puducherry have seen through the BJP''s game plan.

"The ugly demonstration of their money power, political power, and intolerance to other party''s rule will have to come to an end in this country and Puducherry will be the real field to demonstrate that," he said.

With the exit of the Congress government in Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are the only three states in the country ruled by the party on its own.

Elections for the 30 assembly seats in Puducherry are likely to take place in the next few months.

Moily also asserted that the fall of the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh last year and in Puducherry was completely different.

"In Puducherry, it is not about the elected MLAs, it was the nominated MLAs who led to the government''s fall. If there was no voting power to the nominated MLAs, the government would not have fallen," he said. Congress will bounce back, Moily added.

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