Congress backs Puducherry’s Statehood demand

Special Correspondent

PCC hails decision to abolish Common Entrance Test

PUDUCHERRY: President of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) A.V. Subramanian on Thursday welcomed the government-sponsored Assembly resolution seeking full Statehood for the Union Territory of Puducherry.

He also commended the government’s decision to abolish the Common Entrance Test (CET) for admissions to professional colleges. He, along with president of the National Students’ Union of India Samraj, distributed sweets to the people, welcoming the move. Crackers were also burst near the PCC office.

Mr. Subramanian told reporters here that it had been an anomaly in the country’s democratic system that the Union Territories did not enjoy powers on a par with the States. In tune with the aspirations of the people of Puducherry, successive governments had been taking steps to achieve Statehood from 1991, he said.

The PCC would also strive to ensure that the government succeeded in its efforts by pleading with the Centre to concede the demand for making Puducherry a full-fledged State, he said.

Replying to queries on Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao’s opposition to the Assembly resolution seeking Statehood, Mr. Subramanian said the Minister was only echoing the apprehensions of the people of Yanam that the region might lose its links with Puducherry just as Daman and Diu got separated from Goa when it became a State.

Asked if the PCC would recommend action against Mr. Rao who had offered to step down if the party high command asked him to do so, he said steps would be taken to persuade him to accept the demand for Statehood. Efforts would also be made to allay the doubts of the people of Yanam on the issue. He, along with the Chief Minister, other Ministers and the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning, would visit Yanam on June 6 to participate in a function to distribute welfare assistance to the people, Mr. Subramanian said.

He expressed his gratitude to the Lieutenant Governor for signing the G.O. to abolish the CET. Members belonging to the Treasury Benches and the Opposition had welcomed the government’s move to abolish the CET, he said.

The PCC would stand solidly behind the government in its efforts to remove the anomalies in the dearness allowance given to the workers of the Anglo-French Textile Mills through time-bound measures, Mr.Subramanian said.

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