Today's Paper

No truth in corruption charges: Rangasamy

PONDICHERRY, MARCH 11. There is no truth in the corruption charges levelled against the government and all decisions are taken as per rules, the Pondicherry Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy, said here today.

"All the works taken up by the Public Works Department have gone through the tender process. And certain works, whose cost exceed a specified amount, have to go through a screening committee and I cannot influence it in any way", he said at the inaugural of a checkdam at Kuruvinatham in the Bahour commune.

"Everyone knows about my public interactions. I talk about policy decisions with officials when people are in my chamber."

Many works pending for long were completed in record time. The PWD was now taking up various works costing around Rs. 150 crores. These would be completed before the tenure of this Government.

On the charge that the Government failed to provide employment to youth, he said more than 5,000 persons were given jobs in the past four years. In the coming days more opportunities would be generated when the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) came up and port development took place.

Earlier, Mr. Rangasamy inaugurated the checkdam across the Pennaiyar. The Rs. 6.20-crore dam will help to divert water to eight tanks in Kuruvinatham, Melparikalpet, Kizhparikalpet, Arachikuppam, Bahour-Sitheri, Uchimedu, Manapet and Kirumampakkam during monsoon.

The Chief Minister said the dam was a long-pending demand of the people. It would help to irrigate 1,973 acresand recharge the depleted groundwater table.

No explanation: Kannan

Meanwhile, the suspended Pondicherry Congress leader, P. Kannan, ruled out giving any explanation to the AICC and said he would decide the future course of action at the time of the Assembly election.

"My rally against the Government was an answer to the AICC and I am not planning to give any written explanation," Mr. Kannan told reporters here.

Claiming that he would remain a `Congress man' and did not have ill-feelings towards the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, he said those `close to her' wrongly advised the party president and hence his suspension.

The movement against the Rangasamy-led Government would continue and there was no immediate plan to form a new party or revive his Puducherry Makkal Congress, he said.

Asked about reports of his being in touch with other political parties, Mr. Kannan said: "I have not approached any political party and nobody has approached me also. I will decide the future strategy only during the time of elections."

Mr. Kannan alleged that employment opportunities were given only to those preferred by the Chief Minister. A memorandum would soon be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor seeking his intervention, he said. He would launch an agitation if employment was not given through the employment exchange.