Will be people’s Lt Governor, Tamilisai Soundararajan says

The new Puducherry Lt Governor approved a demand to provide financial assistance to SC/ST students, said she would revive industrial activity and also said Tamil would be a priority

Updated - February 18, 2021 03:42 pm IST

Published - February 18, 2021 12:43 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Lietenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, inspecting the vaccination centre at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute in Puducherry on Thursday

Lietenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, inspecting the vaccination centre at Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute in Puducherry on Thursday

Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, who was sworn-in as Puducherry’s Lt Governor on Thursday approved a long-pending demand in Puducherry to provide financial assistance to SC/ST students.

Addressing a press conference after assuming office, the Lt Governor said, “My intention is to serve the people. The first two decisions were to sanction financial assistance to SC/ST students and sanction funds for the AIDS Control Society,” she said.

When her attention was drawn to the closure of Public Distribution Outlets in the Union Territory due to non-disbursement of free rice, she said the issue would be studied and appropriate decisions will be taken to strengthen PDS outlets. “No one should starve, and my decision will be for the welfare of people,” the Lt Governor said.

She also made clear her intention to revive industrial activity. “I came to know that the unemployment rate is slightly higher here. Will take a policy decision on utilising vacant land to promote industries and tourism,” she said.

When asked about the Opposition demand to convene the Assembly to test the majority of the government, the Lt Governor said a memorandum regarding the demand has been received by Raj Nivas. “I will consider all aspects and function as per the provisions in the Constitution,” she said. Some political parties have sought time to discuss the issue, she said adding that all would be heard before taking a decision to test the majority of the government.

To a query on the tussle between the previous Lt Governor and ruling government, Ms. Soundararajan said, “I will not comment on the happenings before. The previous Lt Governor may have her own style of working and I have my own. I am very much aware about the Constitutional powers of Governor, Lt Governor, Chief Minister, elected representatives and officials. I have not come here with any political considerations. I have no ego. I will take decisions based on issues.”

On the demand of political parties to appoint Tamil-speaking officials in key posts, including that of Collectors, she said, “I have taken my oath in Tamil and I am privileged to do so. As long as I remain as Lt Governor, Tamil will be top priority. The issue of officials will be examined,” she said.

Raj Nivas would be made accessible to the public, she said promising that there would not be any no barriers between her office and people.

Hospital visit

The Lt Governor later visited the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Research Institute to assess the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“If I was a doctor, I would have taken the vaccine by this time. In my family, all doctors, including my husband have been vaccinated. The feedback I got was that the progress of vaccination here is low. Vaccination has to be promoted and COVID-19 norms followed as the virus is still around. Don't think that coronavirus has gone,” she said.

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