PUDUCHERRY: Congress on Monday fired a fresh volley of accusations at the ruling party, claiming that the latter was pushing the Union Territory into a debt trap. Questioning the motive behind the government resorting to borrowing from the market when it could have secured funds from the Centre, the Congress charged the Chief Minister with not utilising resources to mobilise revenue.
Addressing a press meet, Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee president A Namassivayam linked the move by the government to raise Rs 125 crore from open market, by auctioning stock in the form of security, to a severe financial crisis in the Union Territory. Recently, the AINRC-led government had decided to borrow from the market for the third time this year.
Charging Chief Minister N Rangasamy with failure in translating into deeds the assurances he made in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress leader said, “N Rangasamy had assured to seek assistance of the Prime Minister to get the loan burden of over Rs 6,000 crore waived off. He also had promised to secure statehood for Puducherry and implement a slew of welfare schemes with the Centre’s assistance. However, no action has been taken on any of his assurances. He also failed to heed to the opposition parties’ demand for a White Paper on the financial position of the Union Territory. All welfare and development schemes have been held up due to lack of funds.”
Charging the Chief Minister with using the statehood issue as a poll plank, Namasivayam dared the AINRC government to come clear on the initiatives taken by it on the subject. Further, he said that several employees of government boards and corporations had not received salaries for the past many months and their repeated pleas for promotion and clearance of arrears had had no effect on the Chief Minister. Meanwhile, Congress too raised the allegations of adulterated wheat being distributed through the Fair Price Shops (FPS) under Public Distribution System, and sought a judicial probe into the charges.
Citing clarification by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) that wheat distributed through the FPS was not the same as supplied by it, the Congress leader slammed the Chief Minister for failing to crack whip on adulterators. Targeting the AINRC for ordering the sale of temple properties, the Congress leader said the government was so broke that it needed to sell land donated by ancestors to run the administrative machinery.
Referring to the recent incident of arson at the house of a ruling party MLA, Namasivayam said that the law and order condition in the Union Territory had deteriorated to such an extent that even AINRC legislators were unsafe.
He said murder, burglary and chain snatching had become the order of the day.Denying that Congress MLAs were turning dissident, Namasivayam said it was natural for the representatives of constituencies to meet the Chief Minister and put forth their demands. He also said the party was willing to join hands with like-minded outfits to raise public issues through agitations.