PUDUCHERRY: The ruling NDA government is facing scrutiny over the whereabouts of the statehood resolution adopted unanimously by the Puducherry assembly on March 31, 2023. The issue arose after Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai revealed in parliament that the central government had not received any such resolution after 2018.
In response to K Subbarayan's (CPI) question in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the minister said that a resolution was received on July 19, 2018, and after due consideration by the ministry, it was decided to maintain the current union territory status to Puducherry. He further clarified that no other resolution has been received since then. However, the department-related parliamentary standing committee for home affairs had recommended statehood for Puducherry in its 121st report, he said.
The 2018 statehood resolution was adopted when the Congress government led by V Narayanasamy was in power. A similar resolution was adopted by the current NDA government too, with Chief Minister N Rangasamy openly advocating for statehood. Despite all these, the resolution has not reached the ministry. As per the rules, the adopted resolution is to be sent to the lieutenant governor to be forwarded to the home ministry for consideration, but there is uncertainty regarding whether it has been sent to the L-G or not.
When media personnel sought clarification from L-G Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on the sidelines of the Kargil Vijay Diwas function held on Wednesday, she evaded the question. Instead, she said that the cabinet decision on 10% reservation for government school students in medical courses would be sent to the home ministry. She added that the demands of the government are being gradually considered. Chief Minister N Rangasamy was also present at the event but remained silent on the matter.
Opposition leader and DMK convenor R Siva criticised the lack of transparency and demanded a convincing response from the L-G, chief minister, and ministers regarding the current status of the resolution passed by the assembly in March. He also expressed concern over the effectiveness of passing resolutions in the assembly if such issues persist.
Adding to the controversy, AIADMK unit secretary (East) and former MLA, called for Chief Minister N Rangasamy to conduct an inquiry and issue a white paper on why the resolution was not sent to the central government. He criticised speaker R Selvam for allegedly not acting on the resolution.