The Pradesh Congress Committee on Thursday announced that it would boycott the proposed all-party meet on Statehood to Puducherry.

Accompanied by A.V. Subramanian, president, PCC, V. Vaithilingam, former Chief Minister and Opposition leader, told reporters here that the Congress was against calling for an all-party meeting at a time when political parties were getting ready for the Lok Sabha elections. The meeting would not serve any purpose as Central leaders, including the President and the Prime Minister, could not do anything on Statehood issue during election time.

When asked about the support of Congress when resolutions were adopted in the Puducherry Assembly, Mr. Vaithilingam said the party had been demanding special State status for Puducherry. It was not against providing the status, but the timing of all-party meet was not correct. Chief Minister N. Rangasamy had been raising the demand whenever he faced difficulties in running the administration.

Mr. Vaithilingam added that the ruling N.R. Congress had failed in aspects of governance. People, who were fed up with the misrule of Mr. Rangasamy, were expecting a chance to prove their power. However, in order to divert the people he had taken the weapon of Statehood. The diversionary tactic would yield no result.

On the spat between the Lt. Governor Virendra Kataria and Mr. Rangasamy, the Opposition Leader said the Lt. Governor had the right to analyse various issues while taking the final call on transferring and posting Provincial Civil Service officers. On the current issue, he (LG) had refused to clear the posting of a PCS officer as Collector of Puducherry. It was not right to recommend a PCS officer for Puducherry district when an IAS officer was looking after Karaikal district, which was a smaller district.

On the controversy over appointing an advisor by the LG’s office, Mr. Vaithilingam said the Lt. Governor could certainly appoint anyone as he was the appointing authority. Moreover, the advisor had been appointed purely on honorary basis. Criticising Mr. Rangasamy for making public the administrative issues with the Lt. Governor, if he had any issues, he should have referred them to the Ministry of Home Affairs.