Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I favour boycotting Puducherry polls till Statehood is granted: CM

I favour boycotting Puducherry polls till Statehood is granted: CM

Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Tuesday said he “personally” agreed to the call given to political parties by Opposition leader and AINRC chief N. Rangasamy to boycott the Assembly election till the Centre accords Statehood to Puducherry.

“On the question of Statehood, all parties are united and should jointly fight for it. I personally agree with the idea of boycotting the election. If all parties come together and take a common stand to boycott the poll, we will get the concurrence of [our] party high command. After facing the obstructions created by the Lt. Governor with the support of the Centre, a question arises whether to get elected again and be powerless,” he said, addressing a press conference at the Legislative Assembly.

Asked whether he would take the initiative to bring about a consensus among political parties, the Chief Minister said he would certainly apprise the party high command on the subject and act accordingly.

The relevance of conducting election in the context of day-to-day interference by the Lt. Governor would be taken up with the Election Commission during the ECI’s visit to assess poll preparedness in the Union Territory this week, he said.

“When an elected government does not have the right to execute a proposal for even relaying roads, the relevance of conducting elections should be examined. The government has forwarded the file for relaying the damaged roads by cyclone Nivar to the Lt. Governor immediately after the natural calamity struck our coast. It has not yet been approved,” he said.

Sudden decision

Questioning the AINRC chief’s sudden decision to raise the issue of Statehood, the Chief Minister charged that Mr. Rangasamy never took up the cause of Statehood in the house or outside in the last five years.

He also did not join the delegation of legislators when they called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demand Statehood, he said.

The former Chief Minister also did not join the debates in the Assembly when the government passed a resolution demanding Statehood. He also maintained silence on the style of functioning of the Lt. Governor.

The AINRC was in government when the National Democratic Alliance came to power at the Centre in 2014. The former Chief Minister had attended NDA meetings but did not raise the issue, he said. “The AINRC took up the Statehood issue before the 2011 poll and after being silent for several years, just before the Assembly election, he has again taken up the issue for electoral gains,” Mr. Narayanasamy alleged.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister K. Lakshminarayanan said after witnessing the events for the last four-and-a-half years, every person has doubts about contesting elections.

“Such interference by the Lt. Governor has never happened. Why should someone get elected without having any power?” he asked.

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