Thursday, December 7, 2023

Lone Puducherry woman minister quits citing ‘casteism’ and ‘gender bias’

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Puducherry’s lone woman legislator and minister, S Chandira Priyanga, on Tuesday tendered her resignation from the AINRC-BJP coalition cabinet, alleging politics of conspiracy and money power, besides facing casteism and gender bias.

In 2021, the Nedungadu legislator became the first woman to be made a minister in the union territory after a gap of over 40 years.She was then handed the Transport portfolio in the N Ranagsamy-led coalition cabinet.

Chandira Priyanga was elected from the Nedungadu reserved constituency in Karaikal on an AINRC ticket for a successive term in the 2021 Assembly polls.

On Tuesday, Chandira Priyanga quit as Minister and submitted her letter of resignation through her Secretary at the office of the Chief Minister.Sources in the CMO confirmed receipt of the letter and said it has been forwarded to the Chief Minister for him to take a decision on the matter.

A copy of her resignation letter was distributed to the media.She said in her letter that although she entered the Assembly due to her popularity among the people in her constituency, she however realised it is not so easy to overcome “politics of conspiracy and I could not fight against the big ghost of money power”.

She realised she “was subjected to casteism and gender bias.””I was also targeted continuously and found that I could not bear the politics of conspiracy and the big ghost of money power any longer beyond certain limits”.

Chandira Priyanga said she would come out soon with a detailed report “to highlight what changes, improvement and reforms I had made in the departments I was looking after as Minister”.

Among others, she handled Housing and Labour and Employment portfolios.She said she was indebted to the people of her constituency.

“I realise that I cannot continue to fight the dominant forces and hence I quit the post of minister. I tender my apology to the people in my segment. But I assure I will continue to serve the constituency as its legislator,” Chandira Priyanga added.

Thanking the CM for having accommodated her as a Minister earlier, she also requested Ranagsamy to fill in the vacancy arising out of her resignation by including any of the legislators belonging to the Vanniyar, Dalit or minority communities.

Further, none keen to become minister on the basis of money power or influence should be made her successor as that would cause ‘injustice’ to the Vanniyar or Dalit communities.

She also requested the chief minister to ensure all welfare measures of the government are implemented without any hiccups in her constituency.

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