The NDA government at the Centre will dismantle the separate status of Puducherry and merge it with neighbouring states, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy claimed, even as he asserted that his party workers will not remain silent and sacrifice their lives to protect it.
Mr Narayanasamy said the Centre had already reduced Jammu and Kashmir from being a state to a Union Territory and asked the people here to ensure that the Congress-led alliance was elected to power in the 2021 Assembly polls also.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is turning his eyes towards Puducherry and would dismantle the separate status of Puducherry and merge it with neighbouring states,” he claimed, addressing the 136th foundation day celebrations of the Congress.
Puducherry would face a situation of being deprived of its separate status as a Union Territory and there is need for caution and care on the part of party workers and people in general, he said.
“We will not remain silent spectators and would even sacrifice our lives to protect the separate status of Puducherry,” he said.
Party workers should put in hard work to ensure that Congress-headed alliance is elected again to rule the Union Territory, Mr Narayanasamy said.
On the Prime Minister’s recent barb that without holding civic polls in Puducherry, the Congress was preaching him democracy, Mr Narayanasamy again alleged Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was blocking initiatives aimed at elections.
“The fact is that it is Kiran Bedi who is responsible for the delay in reviving grassroot level democracy in Puducherry and Prime Minister pinning the blame on Congress government for civic polls not taking place is unwarranted and unacceptable,” Mr Narayanasamy said and challenged the PM for a debate on who is responsible for delay in holding the polls.
He said the government was now facing a difficult situation with the Lt Governor interfering in routine administrative decisions of the elected government on the one hand and the Centre’s attitude to “let down the government here.”
There is hardly any issue where there was no interference by the Lt Governor, the chief minister claimed.
“Implementation of free rice scheme, posting of a State Election Commissioner, decisions to hike old age pension and extending welfare measures to the people under various schemes for example are all blocked by Kiran Bedi,” he said.
“Our decision to post a retired IAS officer (as SEC) could not see the light of the day as she went ahead to post a retired IFS officer. The rule clearly says that no retired Forest Officer could be the SEC. We have challenged Kiran Bedi’s interference in deciding the SEC in the Supreme Court and the petition is pending disposal,” Mr Narayanasasmy said.