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“Civic polls will happen”

Staff Reporter
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Rangasamy seeks to rebut criticism of non-committal stance

Chief Minister N. Rangasamy presenting degree certificate to a student at the convocation of Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Karaikal on Monday.
Chief Minister N. Rangasamy presenting degree certificate to a student at the convocation of Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Karaikal on Monday.

Making light of the controversies surrounding the State government for its alleged non-committal stance towards the conduct of local body elections, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy said the local body elections would be held as and when they are held. 

“Local body elections will happen when they happen,” quipped the Chief Minister to the persistent queries of the media here, on the sidelines of first Convocation Day of at the Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology (PKIET), here on Monday.

The Union Territory saw its last local body elections in 2006, and the non-conduct of elections that are seen long overdue has been fraught with contestations, with the opposition trading allegations against the ruling NR Congress.

Delivering his convocation Day address here, Mr. Rangasamy said that the government has accorded an in-principle clearance for setting up a medical college in the public-private partnership mode and proposal has been mooted to float tenders to take it forward.  Progress on the proposal would soon be visible, said Chief Minister N. Rangasamy here on Monday. Efforts have also been initiated for setting up an Agriculture University here in the district, and the proposal would see fruition soon. 

The State government has sought Central funds to taken forward its ambitious higher education plans.  Speaking to the media here a day ahead of the scheduled Chief Ministers’ conference with the Union Finance Minister in Bangalore on Tuesday, Mr. Rangasamy said that he would ask for “funds requisite for the development of Puducherry.”

On the Cauvery river water sharing dispute, the Chief Minister stated that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had assured that Puducherry would receive its due share, once Tamil Nadu received its due.

Pitching a call to banks to provide for education loans without hiccups, Mr. Rangasamy said that support for higher education was not a sole prerogative of the government alone, and it was equally the mandate of banks to step up its contribution to widen access to education. Distributing graduation degrees to 130 students from the three streams of Computer Science Engineering; Information Technology and Electrical and Communication Engineering,  Mr. Rangasamy said that he was swept over by nostalgia, as the idea of an engineering college was toyed with in the early nineties, when he was the agriculture minister. 

Urging students to take up education as a tool to social and economic mobility, the Chief Minister hoped that they would go on to acquire further education.

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