PUDUCHERRY: Taking strong exception to the passing of the controversial Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill giving overriding powers to the Delhi Lt. Governor over the elected government, former Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday expressed apprehension that the BJP government at the Centre would do the same in Puducherry and vouched for statehood as the only way out.
Addressing a press conference, Narayanasamy said that as per the bill, the cabinet would have decision making powers only with the approval of the Lt. Governor. In this case, the elected members are at the mercy of the Lt. Governor and none of their promises made to the people could be implemented without the Lt. Governor's approval.
A similar fate will befall Puducherry shortly because of the BJP and the people of Puducherry should remain vigilant, he said. If such an amendment was also made for Puducherry, the powers of the elected government will be fully stripped and the central government will rule through the appointed Lt. Governor. The voting rights of the people and the mandate given would be of no use at all, as all powers of the government elected by the people will be grabbed through the Lt. Governor, he said.
Obtaining statehood is the only remedy, said Narayanasamy. The N R Congress, an ally of the BJP in the NDA, is demanding statehood for Puducherry, but the BJP is against statehood for Puducherry, Narayanasamy said, pointing out to Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari not making any commitment on statehood during his visit to Puducherry.
Keeping this in mind, the people of Puducherry should oppose this move of the BJP government and reject the BJP allies NR Congress and AIADMK supporting this cause, he added. If the BJP was allowed in Puducherry, the separate identity of the Union territory will be lost forever, cautioned Narayanasamy. Hence people should fight for the rights of Puducherry by teaching the BJP and its allies a lesson in the April 6 Assembly elections, he said.
Referring to the case against the BJP for obtaining the mobile number of voters linked to Aadhaar cards, Narayanasamy said the Lt. Governor and cyber cell will have to give an answer to the court on 26th March while adding that the ‘inefficiency’ of the administration has come out.
Narayansamy added that by saying the state government does not have the powers to grant 10 percent reservation for government school students in medical admissions, the Centre has neglected rural students. With this, the BJP has not only grabbed the fundamental rights, but also the powers of the people, he charged and faulted the N R Congress for remaining a silent spectator. "If the Congress comes to power at the Centre again, Rahul Gandhi will remove the word Union Territory,” he added.
Lok Sabha member V Vaithilignam who was present on the occasion said that someone governing above the legislative assembly amounts to “dishonouring” the people. “If no power rests with the elected government, then what is the use of winning an election,” he asked, wondering whether the Union territory with the legislature is necessary. When all powers are vested with the Union home ministry, the home ministry can rule, he said. The name Union territory be removed since it is slavery, Vaithilingam said and wondered why some people are still aspiring for the Chief Minister’s post for which there is no power at all.