Veteran Congress leader, freedom fighter and former Rajya Sabha member Virendra Kataria was sworn in as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Acting Chief Justice of Madras High Court Rajesh Kumar Agrawal administered the oath of office and secrecy to 80-year-old Kataria at a simple ceremony held at Raj Nivas on Wednesday.
Chief Minister N Rangasamy, Union Minister of State for PMO V Narayanasamy, Rajya Sabha member P Kannan, Speaker of the territorial assembly V Sabapathy, Ministers M Chandra kasu, P Rajavelu , N G Paneerselvam and T Thiagrajan, MLAs, former ministers and Consul General of France, Pierre Fournier, were present.
Renowed danseuse and bollywood star Vijayanthimala also graced the occasion.
The function saw the participation of a host of leaders cutting across party lines. State BJP president M Visw-
eswaran, DMK president Dr M A S Subramanian, AIADMK secretary and MLA A Anbazhagan , CPI president R Viswanathan, PMK president R K R Anantharaman, Puducherry Congress president A V Subramanian, AINRC general secretary V Bhalan were among the political leaders who greeted Kataria.
Virendra Kataria, a BA, LLB graduate and well versed in constitutional and international laws has been leading an active political and social life for the last 60 years. He was the president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and also worked as State observer of AICC in more than 10 states including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya.
He entered the student movement before independence and took part in the freedom struggle and was imprisoned during British regime. Before independence, he was the secretary of Pradesh Student Congress of Undivided Punjab.
Kataria also worked intensively for Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes and built Dharamshala in their localities and constructed 500 shops for weaker sections of society, four children’s parks in Ferozepur district of Punjab and roads and drains in SC settlements.
He was also a member of Parliamentary delegation to Canada led by Shivaraj Patil and another delegation to Japan led by Balram Jhakar and to Copenhegan led by Pranab Mukherjee.
He likes music and poertry, said his daughter-in-law Meera Kataria, who attended the swearing-in cremony along with his son Biren Kataria, grandson Shaurya Kataria, daughter Madhavi Kataria, sister Pratima Bhatia and other relatives.