S Chandira Priyanga, the only woman minister in the All India NR Congress-BJP coalition government in Puducherry, surprised everyone by stepping down from her cabinet position.
Priyanga, known for her work in scheduled caste welfare, transport, and art & culture, took to X (formerly Twitter), to express her decision arose from instances of “caste and gender discrimination”.
Clearly exasperated, Priyanga said in her resignation letter, “I have consistently been on the receiving end of these prejudices – a point that I can bear no longer.”
Interestingly, Chief Minister N Rangasamy has withheld his thoughts on this significant reshuffling. When journalists pressed him for a response, he stated firmly, “I did not summon you,” and refrained from answering their questions.
Here’s an engaging bit of history – Priyanga made headlines in 2021 when she became the first woman to acquire a ministerial position in the union territory after a staggering 40-year hiatus. Moving into the limelight, she was then given the role to lead the Transport portfolio in the NR Rangasamy-fronted cabinet.
Showing her strength once more, she was chosen from the Neduncadu reserved constituency in Karaikal on an AINRC ticket for a subsequent term in the 2021 Assembly polls.
In response to her decision, Priyanga submitted her resignation letter via her secretary at the offices of the Chief Minister.
The accuracy of this development has been affirmed by sources within the CMO. They also added that the letter has been passed on to the Chief Minister for his careful judgment.
A copy of Priyanga’s resignation was also shared with the media outlets. Looking into her reasons for stepping down, she admitted, “Although my popularity led me to the Assembly, I soon learned that handling the machinations of politics and the formidable presence of money power were no easy feats.”
Further, she asserted that she “has been subjected to casteism and gender bias…that I could bear no longer.”
Priyanga promised to soon disclose a comprehensive report “detailing the changes, improvements, and reforms I initiated in the departments under my supervision”. In addition to her other roles, she also oversaw the Housing and Labour, and Employment portfolios.
Despite her resignation, Priyanga remains indebted to the people of her constituency. “I’ve reached a point where I am unable to combat these dominant forces, so I must resign my ministerial post. I sincerely apologize to the people of my group, but I vow to persist in my services as their legislator,” she stressed.
Whilst acknowledging the CM for his previous support, she urged him to fill her ministerial vacancy with a candidate from the Vanniyar, Dalit, or minority communities. Her plea also underscored the importance of not allowing money power or influence to dictate the selection of her successor, as it would be detrimental to these communities.
Furthermore, she appealed to the CM to ensure the uninterrupted execution of government welfare measures in her constituency.
Ensuring no stone is left unturned, Raj Nivas’s sources have confirmed that a copy of Priyanga’s resignation letter was also sent to the office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Presently, Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan is reported to be in Telangana, according to reliable sources.
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