Will continue protest till L-G addresses issues, says Minister

In solidarity: The Chief Minister interacting with M. Kandasamy at the protest.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

Social Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy on Monday said he would continue with his day-night protest at the Assembly here till Lt. Governor (L-G) Kiran Bedi addresses the issues he had raised in a letter to her on January 9.

“Either I should be given an audience by the Lt. Governor at Raj Nivas or the secretaries should come to the Assembly and address my grievances. Otherwise, I will continue with the stir,” he told The Hindu.

The Minister, in his letter, had raised 15 issues, including the release of the remaining ₹12 crore for civic amenities, clearance for increasing housing subsidy from ₹4 lakh to ₹5 lakh, fund allocation for residential schools, clearance for increasing marriage assistance, including 10,000 more additional beneficiaries under the old age pension scheme and the release of grant-in aid for co-operative sugar mills.

The Minister said he also wanted to discuss with the Lt. Governor the issue of the reopening of textile mills, free rice distribution and the non-allocation of funds to the backward classes corporation for the disbursal of loans.

People are asking why there were double standards in implementing welfare schemes, he said, adding that the Tamil Nadu government could distribute rice and provide Pongal gifts but not the neighbouring Union Territory.

“It is the right of a Minister to discuss issues with the Lt. Governor. A delay in the implementation of welfare schemes has caused much hardship to the backward classes,” the Minister said.

The Minister had spent Sunday night in the portico of the Assembly.

Expressing solidarity with him, Minister for Revenue M.O.H.F. Shahjahan, Minister for Health Malladi Krishna Rao, MP V. Vaithilingam and other Congress legislators called on him at the protest venue on Monday.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 11:26:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/will-continue-protest-till-l-g-addresses-issues-says-minister/article33553801.ece

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