Puducherry Assembly passes resolution seeking Statehood

Paying tributes: Members of the Assembly paying respects to national and leaders of the Union Territory who passed away recently.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

Participating in a discussion before the Legislative Assembly passed a resolution seeking Statehood for the Union Territory, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Monday held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for not including the Union Territory under the ambit of the recommendations of the Finance Commission.

Addressing the House, the Chief Minister said former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and then Home Minister Rajnath Singh (currently Defence Minister) had given a favourable response to the Union Territory’s demand for inclusion in the Finance Commission. “But when the file reached the Prime Minister’s Office, the proposal of MHA and Finance Ministry was rejected. I am stating this in the Assembly because it is going to be election time and the Prime Minister may even come and promise Statehood,” he said.

On the criticism against him for not doing anything to obtain Statehood while he was a Central Minister, the Chief Minister said the demand was raised for obtaining Special Category Status.

The status was normally accorded to sensitive States in Northeast, he said claiming in those times, the situation was entirely different with the Union Territory getting around 70% as Central assistance. Now, the grant from Centre stood at around 20%, he said.

While the Centre was not according the Union Territory its due share, the Lt. Governor was creating obstacles to the elected government, he alleged.

He accused the L-G of not following rules and court directions.

The Madras High Court in its order had advised the Lt. Governor to function according to the aid and advice of the Cabinet and also stated that there was no independent power vested with the Lt. Governor.

The court wanted the Lt. Governor to refer only subjects of discord with the Cabinet to the Centre.

“But none of these were being followed. So far 34 subjects were referred to the Centre. Even MHA has acknowledged that some of the subjects referred are within the powers of the elected government. Her aim is to delay implementation of schemes,” he alleged.

Social Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy, who took a break from the agitation against the Lt. Governor on the portico of the Assembly, informed the House that he would wait for a formal invitation from Ms. Kiran Bedi to discuss issues pertaining to the Ministry up to 10. 55 a.m on Tuesday. “Otherwise I will walk down to meet her. Some Dalit organisations have already called for a bandh on Wednesday in support of the agitation. The Lt. Governor will have to face the consequences if the demands are not met,” he said participating in the discussion on Statehood.

Mr. Kandasamy said he failed to understand why the Lt. Governor was denying him permission to have an audience with her. It was the duty of the Lt. Governor to listen to the grievances, he added.

The House also passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw all farm laws.

Those who participated in the discussions included, Minister for Revenue M. O. H. F Shahjahan, Minister for Power R. Kamalakannan and Government whip R. K R Ananantharaman.

Immediately after the house met, Speaker V. P. Sivakolandhu made obituary references to departed leaders, including former President Pranab Mukherjee.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 6:30:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-assembly-passes-resolution-seeking-statehood/article33604216.ece

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