September 18, 2021

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Statehood only solution for Puducherry’s development: Narayanasamy on CM Rangasamy’s demand

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Statehood only solution for Puducherry’s development: Narayanasamy on CM Rangasamy’s demand
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Statehood only solution for Puducherry’s development: Narayanasamy on CM Rangasamy’s demand
Statehood only solution for Puducherry’s development: Narayanasamy on CM Rangasamy’s demand

Former Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday refuted reports which claimed that the incumbent CM N Rangasamy had said the Centre has decided to concede the plea for full-fledged statehood to the Union Territory (UT). Reports said while replying to the views of members of both the ruling and opposition blocks during a debate on budget for the fiscal 2021-22 in the Puducherry legislative assembly, Rangasamy said statehood was absolutely necessary for the UT. The reports said, the CM noted that several hardships had been experienced without statehood status for Puducherry and said the central government had decided to grant full-fledged statehood to Puducherry.
However, talking to TOI, senior Congress leader Narayanasamy refuted that Rangasamy gave any such statement on the floor of the House. Excerpts from the interview:
There are reports which quote Puducherry CM Rangasamy as saying that the Centre has decided to concede the plea for full-fledged statehood to the UT. Your reaction.
No, this is not true. I am told Rangasamy said in assembly that it was his party’s stated policy to demand full-fledged statehood for Puducherry. He said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah and request them to grant statehood to Puducherry. He said he would go to Delhi and approach the central government for statehood to Puducherry but he did not exactly say the central government had agreed to grant statehood. During the monsoon session of Parliament, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Puducherry V Vaithilingam had asked a question in Parliament in this regard. However, the government of India clarified that there was no such proposal to grant statehood to Puducherry.
What was the development on this front till February this year when you were the Puducherry CM?
When I was the CM, the assembly passed a unanimous resolution in September 2020 for getting full-fledged statehood to Puducherry. Subsequently, I went to Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah in December 2020. I raised the matter with both of them.
What was the response of both the PM and the HM?
The response was as usual – “We will see.” But nothing happened after that.
Why is full-fledged statehood so important for Puducherry?
Statehood is the only solution for the development of Puducherry. The centre takes away the powers of the elected government by keeping a lieutenant governor (LG).
How is the NDA government functioning in Puducherry?
There is no coordination between the alliance partners BJP and Rangaswamy-led NR Congress. When the CM says we will open schools, the education minister says we will not open them. The ministers veto the CM’s decisions.
In such a situation, how long do you think will the government last in Puducherry?
We will have to wait and watch. The Rajya Sabha election will be held in September-October. We feel there will be tussle between the BJP and NR Congress on the candidate.
Why did the Congress lose the assembly election in Puducherry held earlier this year?
The Modi government at the Centre installed Kiran Bedi as the LG who blocked all our development schemes. The Modi government also did not help us with fund allocations. Finally, they used their power to topple my government in February.
Why did not the Congress get sympathy votes as a result of your government getting toppled?
The BJP took away our potential candidates by using central agencies such as IT (Income-tax department), ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Our MLAs and ministers were threatened by the central government and, therefore, they joined the BJP. In the assembly election, the BJP spent huge sum of money to defeat Congress-DMK alliance.

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