Puducherry will remain a Union Territory, says Minister

Kishan Reddy dismisses speculation about a possible merger with the neighbouring State

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy on Sunday said Puducherry will remain a Union Territory and dismissed the rumours about a merger with the neighbouring State as a “campaign of lies” spread by the Congress.

Addressing BJP party workers at the AFT Grounds, Mr. Reddy said Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy was at the forefront of this false campaign that said the Centre was trying to merge Puducherry with Tamil Nadu. The Union Minister exhorted the people to teach Mr. Narayanasamy “a fitting lesson in the next Assembly election for propagating lies”.

“On behalf of the BJP government at the Centre and as the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, I assure you that there is no such plan. Puducherry will retain its identity as a Union Territory,” he said.

‘PM’s vision’

Stating that several States where the BJP swept to power on the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for a new India were rapidly developing, Mr. Reddy called upon the people of Puducherry to ensure that the Union Territory, too, joined the league of these entities.

He contrasted the various development schemes rolled out by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Mr. Modi with the “corruption and misrule” under the Congress government here. The Union Minister said while the Centre was willing to help Puducherry with open arms, it was the non-cooperation of the local government that prevented the benefits of several projects from reaching the people here.

While Mr. Modi had envisioned the One Nation One Card scheme, Puducherry had dismantled its ration shops, he said. Mr. Reddy said the Union Territory was also an exception in implementing the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme, which was providing relief to millions of beneficiaries. According to the Minister, the Congress was blindly opposing every scheme introduced by the BJP, whether it was the National Education Policy or the reforms-driven farm laws, and this was why the party was being rejected by the people.

He appealed to the people to oppose the Congress in the election and make a new beginning by choosing the BJP, which alone worked to deliver the fruits of development to all citizens.

“I urge you to give the BJP a chance in the next election to secure a good future for Puducherry. This appeal is not merely for electoral victory but to bring good governance, public welfare and democracy that would change the lives of the people here,” Mr. Reddy said.

The Minister also promised free COVID-19 vaccines to all the people in the Union Territory.

‘Corrupt’ rule

Actor-turned-politician Kushboo Sundar said the people of Puducherry were reeling under the “corrupt” rule of the Congress and its ally, the DMK. Employees were denied salaries, ration shops were closed and women were not safe, she said.

Stating that neither the Congress nor the DMK had any right to speak about corruption, Ms. Sundar raised the “hypocrisy” of the parties in opposing the farm laws when farmers in the south had not raised concerns.

The tradition of mutual respect that was a hallmark of the DMK under former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was no longer in the party in which she had commenced her political journey, Ms. Sundar added. Time was up for these parties and the BJP will ride to power in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, she said.

Nirmal Kumar Surana, BJP leader in charge of Puducherry, said the Congress government was steeped in corruption and was a complete failure. The Chief Minister was trying to shift the blame of the government’s ineptness on Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, he said. He urged the people to ensure that Mr. Narayanasamy was the last Congress Chief Minister of Puducherry.

V. Saminathan, BJP president in Puducherry, also addressed the gathering.

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