Special Correspondent

Expresses concern over delay in devolution of powers to civic bodies

Puducherry: Pattali Makkal Katchi Parliamentary Party leader M. Ramadoss has charged Chief Minister N. Rangasamy with "discarding the Constitution" by delaying devolution of powers to the local bodies.

In a three page hard-hitting letter to the Chief Minister on Tuesday, Mr. Ramadoss said that he would raise the issue of non-devolution of powers and constitutionally recognised authorities to the elected civic bodies in forthcoming Parliamentary session. He also informed Mr. Rangasamy that he would apprise the AICC leader Sonia Gandhi of the situation prevailing here.

A delegation of the chairmen and councillors of the commune panchayats would meet the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Delhi, on his invitation, to inform him of their pathetic predicament. He made it clear in his letter that he never intended to have confrontation with the Chief Minister or his Government or even with the ruling Congress while championing the cause of the councillors.

Delay

Mr. Ramadoss objected to the delay in approving of the eight State Finance Commission reports. He said that he could assess by participating as a special invitee in the meetings of the civic bodies, the hardships the councils were facing for want of powers. It was also a pity that none of the programmes resorted to by him and by the councillors had moved the Chief Minster.

He said he would not stop, as he was duty bound to procure powers to civic bodies as a representative of people of the Union Territory.