PUDUCHERRY: Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s announcement that Union Home Minister (UHM) Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Puducherry on April 24 has raised expectations among residents, since the UT is under the direct control of the Union Home Ministry.
Chief minister N Rangasamy, who has flagged various issues related to Puducherry in his letters to the Centre, will now have the opportunity to directly discuss both administrative and financial issues, since Rangasamy has never visited Delhi to meet either the Prime minister or UHM or Finance Minister after assuming charge. The presentation of the budget (2022-2023) is also pending as the CM, who is also the Finance Minister, is expecting clarity on Central funding, after he sent a request for additional assistance of `2,000 crore.
With the AINRC-BJP government entering the second year, there have not only been administrative and financial issues, but also differences between the two allies. Hence, there are speculations that the visit may have political overtones, particularly when all in not well between the ruling allies.
Already, BJP MLAs have voiced complaints against the CM to BJP’s national general secretary BL Santhosh during the core committee meeting chaired by him in Puducherry last month. The complaints pertained to party members not being consulted by the CM while taking decisions, their constituencies being ignored and denial of appointment as chairpersons to boards and corporations of their choice. Home Minister A Namassivayam had skipped the recent Assembly session and is touring Europe for attracting investments, which has already set tongues wagging.
In this backdrop, the visit of Amit Shah is politically significant, since the CM is dependent on the Union Home Ministry to run his government efficiently.
Meanwhile, the opposition DMK has taken the opportunity to politically target the BJP, saying the promises made by Central leaders during the Assembly election campaign have remained unfulfilled. “PM Narendra Modi, Shah and FM Nirmala Sitharaman promised to fulfil several long-standing demands including debt waiver, but even after one year, the BJP is yet to deliver on any of its promises,” said State DMK convenor and Leader of Opposition R Siva.
He added that Union ministers and BJP national leaders have been visiting Puducherry frequently to attend various events, and are welcomed by cut-outs and banners, raising hopes of more Central benefits for Puducherry. But the fact is that the UT has reaped no benefits from these visits. The DMK demands that the UHM take steps to fulfil all promises made by the BJP during and after the Assembly elections, said Siva.