Minutes after former Union minister V Narayanasamy was named as the new Puducherry chief minister, supporters of senior Congress leader A Namassivayam allegedly went on a rampage in the union territory in protest against the decision.
Namassivayam, who is the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, was among the top contenders for the CM’s post but lost the race to Narayanasamy who had not contested the just-concluded assembly elections.
The move to name him as the next CM is bound to escalate tension in the already fractured Congress in the union territory.
As the party in-charge of North East states, Narayanasamy is facing heat over his “inept handling” of the internal crisis in Arunachal Pradesh that eventually led to the fall of the Congress government in the border state.
A section in the Congress claimed that the situation in Arunachal Pradesh was allowed to go out of hand by Narayanasamy, who did not allow the rebels to meet either party chief Sonia Gandhi or vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
The dissidents, led by present chief minister Kalikho Pul, had camped in Delhi for nearly four months to share their grievances with the Congress leadership and by the time Rahul met them, the damage had already been done.
Similarly, Narayanasamy is said to have failed in containing dissidence in Manipur and Meghalaya where the rebels are threatening to destabilise Congress governments as had happened in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In both the states, the Congress high command had to intervene and save the situation for the party.
In Manipur, the top leadership swiftly replaced state party chief Gaikhangam, who is also the deputy chief minister, with senior leader TN Haokip as the party chief. And in Meghalaya, the Congress high command has agreed to meet party rebels who have revolted against chief minister Mukul Sangma after his wife lost to former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma’s son Conrad Sangma in Tura by-election with a record margin of nearly two lakh votes.