PUDUCHERRY: The Union home ministry's communication to the Puducherry government stating the continuance of status quo for Puducherry as a union territory (in response to the 14th resolution adopted by Puducherry seeking statehood) has caused a stir. Puducherry political parties have broken sharply with the centre’s decision, even as Chief Minister N Rangasamy is trying to calm the situation down by announcing an all-party delegation to Delhi. Puducherry Assembly speaker R Selvam has also assured that another resolution seeking statehood will be adopted in the Assembly. He justified his assertion stating that the centre has not outright denied statehood for Puducherry and hence could be approached again.
Leader of the opposition, R Siva, strongly condemned the rejection of statehood, terming it as a betrayal of the people's unanimous resolution in favour of statehood. The centre’s stand that statehood cannot be granted without a referendum is an act of deceiving the people of Puducherry and showing off the centre's autocratic hold. Siva faulted the Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan for the delay in sending over the statehood resolution to the centre and criticised statements made by her and echoed by former Puducherry BJP president V Saminathan, saying that statehood was not required for Puducherry.
Siva flayed Chief Minister Rangasamy, who is in alliance with the BJP, for not taking a stronger stance in support of statehood. The statehood resolution should have been followed up immediately by an all-party delegation to Delhi to meet the prime minister and home minister. He also warned that the central government's position could harm Puducherry's identity and reputation. The leader of opposition urged all parties to unite in the fight for statehood. This is a huge betrayal of the people of Puducherry, he said.
Pondy AIADMK secretary and former MLA A Anbalagan said that the chief minister should immediately convene an all-party meeting to discuss the measures to be adopted to secure statehood. He charged that INDIA alliance member parties including the Congress and DMK are being hypocrites, when statehood could have been achieved during their rule both at the centre and in Puducherry.
Former chief minister V Narayanasamy, who said that Puducherry needs special statehood, could have pushed for statehood when he was a minister at the centre, Anbalagan said. Deputy secretary Vayyapuri Manikandan has sought the resignation of Chief Minister Rangasamy, also demanding that he withdraw from NDA.
Former chief minister and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy charged that BJP is betraying the people of Puducherry. He accused Rangasamy of deceiving people under the guise of statehood. “He not only came to power promising statehood, but he still keeps prodding the issue without ever actually pursuing it," said Narayanasamy. “Is the chief minister prepared to come out of the NDA, since BJP has denied statehood now?," the former chief minister asked.