CM urges Centre to accept Puducherry's statehood demand

CM urges Centre to accept Puducherry's statehood demand

Narayanasamy, who is in Delhi to attend Niti Aayog meeting, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and presented a memorandum comprising several demands of the Union Territory. (File Photo)

Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Saturday urged the Centre to accept Puducherry's demand for full statehood to ensure its overall development.

Narayanasamy, who is in Delhi to attend Niti Aayog meeting, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and presented a memorandum comprising several demands of the Union Territory.

In the memorandum, a copy of which was released to the media by the chief minister's office here, Naryanasamy said the demand for statehood had been constantly pursued with the Government of India since 1987.

The Puducherry government had passed resolutions on the floor of the Assembly seeking statehood on several occasions. The resolutions were forwarded to the Union Home Ministry seeking immediate steps to grant statehood to Puducherry, now a Union Territory.

At loggerheads with Lt Governor Kiran Bedi here, Narayanasamy contended that in a democracy, real power must subsist in the hands of the ministers who are elected representatives and accountable to people through their collective responsibility to the legislature.

"The relationship between the Council of Ministers and the titular head of the State is governed by the over-arching consideration that real power and substantive accountability is vested in the elected representatives of the people," the memorandum said.

Had Puducherry been a state, it would have received 42 per cent Central grant which would be on par with other states as recommended by the Central Finance Commission instead of the present 30 per cent grant, it pointed out.

Naryanasamy also urged the Centre to ensure that there was an increase by at least 10 per cent in the Central assistance to Puducherry.

He sought one-time Central assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the government to construct premises for a new Legislative Assembly and a world-class convention centre, each costing Rs 500 crore.

The chief minister wanted the Centre to include Puducherry in the Central Finance Commission, the release of Central aid to meet additional financial implication arising out of the implementation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission report for government staff here and waiver of loans due from Puducherry to the Centre over the years.

The chief minister also called on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and submitted a memorandum listing identical demands, official sources said.

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