Puducherry: Lone Woman Minister Chandira Priyanga Resigns Citing Caste, Gender Discrimination

She was the only woman legislator in the 30-member assembly and the first woman to lead a ministry since 1983.

New Delhi: Puducherry transport minister S. Chandira Priyanga on Tuesday resigned from the All India N.R Congress (AINRC)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government citing caste and gender discrimination against her.

The only woman legislator in the 30-member assembly, Priyanga hails from the Dalit community. According to the Deccan Herald, she forwarded her letter of resignation to the office of Chief Minister N. Rangasamy through her secretary. Sources in the CMO told the paper that they had received the letter, but didn’t reveal if it has been accepted or rejected.

Priyanga, who was elected from Neduncadu reserved constituency in Puducherry’s Karaikal region, posted a statement announcing her resignation on social media. She was the first woman minister of Puducherry in 40 years and took oath in July 2021 as the lone woman member of the cabinet, Deccan Herald reported.

“Though I entered the Assembly through people’s confidence, I realised that it is not so easy to overcome the politics of conspiracy. I could not continue my fight against money power. I didn’t know that pride over my Dalit identity was the problem for others. I felt I was being continuously subjected to caste and gender bias,” she said in her statement.

She also said he would respond to the “mindless criticism” received by her by releasing a list of her achievements as a minister over the past two years.

“I am indebted to the people who elected me as a legislator. But I resign my minister’s post as I realise that I cannot continuously fight against dominant forces. I apologise to my voters for resigning as a minister,” her statement read.

While thanking the chief minister for the opportunity to become a minister, Priyanga requested him to accept her resignation and appoint a person from a minority community in her place.

“None of them trying to get Cabinet power through money power should be accommodated as it will cause injustice to the dominant Dalit and Vanniyar communities. So one of the legislators belonging to Dalit, Vanniyar or minority community should be given the cabinet berth,” Priyanga said.

She also requested him to ensure there are no interruptions in the implementation of welfare schemes in her constituency.