Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy (Express Photo Praveen Jain/File)
Former chief minister and leader of the opposition in the assembly N Rangasamy Monday urged Chief Minister V Narayanasamy to persuade the Centre to grant statehood to Puducherry, now a Union Territory.
Participating in the debate on the budget for fiscal 2018-19, presented in the House by the chief minister on July 2 he said the government should have full powers.
At the same time there should be no repeated blame that the Lt Governor is standing in the way of cabinet decisions as such criticism would only cause a stalemate in development, he said in an apparent reference to the chief minister’s often repeated charges that Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was blocking development initiatives.
On the other hand, steps should be intensified to procure statehood to Puducherry, he said and told the chief minister that any demand for statehood would be like ‘crying for the moon’ as the Centre would not grant the status.
Intervening, the chief minister said his counterparts in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh had already persuaded the Centre to grant special category status to their respective states.
Rangasamy said Puducherry should first become a state so that there would be no difficulty in taking decisions and implementing them.
“There is no point in constantly blaming the Lt Governor or the officers on the ground that they are standing in the way of implementation of the cabinet decisions.
Such accusation would only act as a stumbling block in the progress of Puducherry,” he said and extended his party’s support to any step the government would take to urge Centre for statehood.
Welfare Minister M Kandasamy suggested that a joint delegation of all legislators could leave for Delhi and persuade the Centre to grant statehood for Puducherry.
Rangasamy also objected to the government move to establish casinos to promote tourism, saying they are ‘injurious’ to the tradition and culture of the nation
He also said the government should totally give up any move to introduce casinos in the larger interest of protecting culture.
While winding up the debate on the budget, the chief minister said he was glad that there was support to the demand for Statehood from the members.