PUDUCHERRY: Independent MLA G Nehru along with members of social organisations petitioned Chief Minister N Rangasamy on Friday and urged him to convene a meeting with all parties and social organisations urging the Centre to grant statehoold to Puducherry.
Nehru also urged the CM to convene a special Assembly session to pass a resolution regarding the same.
Though the Chief Minister has been advocating statehood, its ally the BJP is not in favour of it. The BJP leaders had cited that whatever the UT required would be provided by the Central government. Recently, at a government function presided by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Rangasamy spoke on the requirement for more powers for the Puducherry government to grant approvals, without which the development was getting hampered. He also sought exemption for Puducherry from approaching the Centre for approvals. Political observers see this as a first step towards making a strong case for statehood.
The annual budget instead of being presented in March gets presented in August and September after the centre's approval. Being a Union Territory (with a legislature), it is not getting Central assistance as it is not included in the Central Finance commission. The central government does not allocate sufficient funds as requested by the Puducherry government to present the budget. After starting a separate account for Puducherry, the pattern of funding by the centre changed and the government has to mobilise revenue through loans and market borrowing, resulting in a debt burden of Rs 9,650 crore rupees.
Puducherry does not have its own Public Service Commission. The recruitment for Group-A and Group-B are selected through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is helping people from other states secure jobs in Puducherry and depriving the local youth. There is no reservation in jobs for Puducherry youth in central government institutions, he said.