PUDUCHERRY: Former Union Minister of State and senior party leader V Narayanasamy, while addressing a meeting at the party office on Sunday, called on Congress cadre to oppose the N R Congress government’s agenda of getting statehood for Puducherry and be prepared to self-immolate if the government pursues the statehood proposal.
The Congress party, whose main strength lies in the outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, has decided to pursue its anti-statehood stand vigorously and instead try for a ‘special category’ statehood for all the regions of the Union Territory (UT). This would be part of the memorandum the party plans to submit to President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit here on September 26.
Addressing a meeting at the party office on Sunday, Narayanasamy told cadre to oppose the N R Congress government’s agenda of getting statehood for Puducherry. “Statehood will lead to losing of the outlying regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and that was not acceptable,” said Narayanasamy. Besides, in terms of finance Puducherry will lose a major chunk of Central grants. This has been the reason behind the previous Congress government’s decision to reject statehood when the Centre was considering it, said Narayanasamy. On the other hand, special category status would ensure financial stability as the entire Puducherry region would get 90 per cent of its budgetary expenditure as grants, he said.
On the other hand, the AINRC and other parties had been maintaining that Puducherry does not merit special category statehood as it does not fulfil the criteria. Both special category statehood and Puducherry remaining a UT are beneficial to the Congress to keep its votebank in the outlying regions intact.