PUDUCHERRY: Former Puducherry Chief Minister and All India NR Congress founder President N Rangasamy urged Prime minister Narendra Modi to enhance the annual central grants to the Union Territory to ensure its welfare and development, without making any fresh demand for statehood.
Speaking at the election rally addressed by PM Modi here on Tuesday, Rangasamy said that former Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had been talking about the need for statehood, often citing that the elected government does not have the requisite power, but his (Rangasamy’s) government in the past had sought statehood for several years.
When the Congress government was in power at the centre, he had sought statehood for Puducherry and did the same after meeting PM Modi. Statehood is necessary as the central grants are not adequate and need to be enhanced, Rangasamy said.
"Puducherry lacks sufficient sources to mobilise revenue. There is every need for augmenting central grants to the UT," he said.
The grants need to be in the ratio of 70 per cent borne by the Centre and the remaining 30 per cent from Puducherry’s own resources.
“Only then can Puducherry can develop and the central government needs to help,” Rangasamy said.
''Modi had promised me to look into the plea for statehood and assured to do the needful, when the time comes, as the UT of Delhi also has to be taken into consideration," he added.
Rangasamy also stated that Puducherry witnessed a dark period at the hands of the Congress-DMK government led by V Narayanasamy in the last five years as he alleged that it had failed all sections of people.
The government had let down the people without delivering on promises made in the election manifesto and even the Assembly.
The promise that one member in each family would be provided a job was an impossible assurance as it isn't practically possible to give jobs to more than three lakh families, said Rangasamy.
He said that the former Chief Minister had not provided funds to the departments of his then ministerial colleagues to develop infrastructure, including roads.
"Former PWD Minister A Namassivayam had told me that Narayanasamy had not sanctioned funds for Local Administration department for development of the local area," he added.
Rangasamy alleged that lack of cooperation and assistance from the Narayanaswamy government to his own party legislators and alliance partner was what led to the resignation of many of its members.
He also slammed the Congress, DMK government's inefficiency and appealed to the people to remain vigilant, ahead of the assembly polls.
Puducherry should witness growth and development and hence, the Prime minister is visiting the union territory for a second time for campaigning, after his first visit on February 25, Rangasamy concluded.