PUDUCHERRY: The grand Puducherry drama ended late on Monday night with Chief Minister V Narayanasamy calling off his dharna outside the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi’s official residence Raj Nivas. The move came following a four-hour-long meeting between the CM and LG on Monday. Narayanasamy termed the meeting a “partial success”, and said that the L-G had agreed to resolve most issues. “She has agreed to reconsider her decision on the closure of Anglo-French Textile Mills and on Voluntary Retirement Scheme for workers,” he said.
“She has agreed to approve old-age pensions for 10,000 new beneficiaries and the distribution of free rice instead of cash through the public distribution system. She has agreed to the auction of Cooperative Sugar Mill and pay salary to workers and dues to cane farmers.”
Kiran Bedi has agreed to consider the recruitment of teachers on a contract basis. She has also agreed to take up with the Home Ministry the recruitment of police constables with an upper age limit of 24 instead of 22 years.
“Bedi has agreed to the auction of Cooperative Sugar Mill and payment of salaries to workers and dues to sugarcane farmers. Most importantly, she has agreed to the decentralisation of her financial powers to the council of ministers and secretaries as advised by the MHA, by April 1, 2019,” the CM said.
Pondy CM thanks leaders for support, no word from Bedi
ENDING his six-day-long dharna, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy thanked all political party leaders who supported him. His meeting with L-G Kiran Bedi ended around 9.15 pm, but he immediately went into a huddle with his legislators for a little over an hour following which he addressed the press. Monday was the sixth day of dharna by Narayanasamy, seeking resolution to at least a few of the 39 issues raised by him in his letter to Kiran Bedi dated February 7.
The list includes issues relating to welfare schemes, payment of salary to workers of textile mills and public sector units and also recruitment of staff. Though Bedi returned to the UT ahead of schedule and invited the CM for a meeting on Sunday, it was cancelled as he allegedly imposed some conditions for talks, including a change of venue. Later on Monday, Narayanasamy withdrew all the conditions.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal visited the protest venue and said full Statehood was the only solution to this issue.
Kejriwal had come to Puducherry, along with his Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sishodia, and expressed his solidarity with Narayanasamy. The Delhi CM said it was over 70 years since the Constitution of India came into force, guaranteeing democracy all over the country, in which the people elect their governments which have full power to fulfil the aspirations of the people and provide them safety and security and undertake various developmental works.
But in Delhi and Puducherry, though the people have elected their governments, the governments are completely handicapped and have no powers and can’t even do perform day-to-day functions. This is complete injustice to the people of both Delhi and Puducherry, he said while demanding statehood for both Delhi and Puducherry.
“We will join hands and fight together both politically and legally”, said Kejriwal.
However, he soon clarified that he had come here as Delhi Chief Minister and not as AAP president. Both CMs would stand together in their fight for statehood. Further clarifying, he said it was not that AAP and Congress were joining hands, but that the elected governments in Delhi and Puducherry were fighting jointly for statehood.
In future, any political party may be in power in Delhi and Puducherry, but the fight would be for establishing the rights of the people, he said, adding that Arvind Kejriwal and Narayanasamy were not bigger than democracy which could not be allowed to sink.
AIADMK petitions Prez to recall Bedi
Puducherry: Legislators of opposition party AIADMK in Puducherry on Monday petitioned President Ramnath Kovind demanding the recall of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for her undemocratic functioning. In a letter to the President signed by A Anbazhagan, KAU Assana, A Bhaskar and Vayyapuri Manikandan, the MLAs maintained that an extraordinary situation prevailed in the Union Territory due to the power tussle between the L-G and the CM