Puducherry will remain as Union Territory: Union Minister

Puducherry, Jan 3 : Union Minister G Kishan Reddyon Sunday pooh-poohed Puducherry Chief Minister VNarayanasamys allegation that the Centre was planning todismantle the separate identity of the Union Territory andmerge it with neighbouring states.

Addressing a public meeting organised here by theterritorial unit of the Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP),the Union Minister of State for Home said Puducherry wouldcontinue to be a Union Territory.

“The Chief Minister has been making baseless statementsthat the Centre was keen on merger of Puducherry withneighbouring states. This is wrong. Puducherry will remain aUnion Territory,” he said, listing the steps taken by the NDAgovernment under leadership of Modi to promote the welfare ofthe people.

“The NDA government is committed to develop Puducherrythrough welfare schemes,” he said.

He said the Centre would provide COVID-19 vaccine free ofcost to the people in Puducherry and expressed concern overthe failure of the government here to address the woes ofworkers and government staff.

Actress Khusboo Sundar, who spoke at the meeting, said theCongress government here had failed the people withoutimplementing welfare measures.

“Fair price shops remain closed for months. Employees wereagitating for wages which remain unpaid for long,” she said,alleging that the Union Territory had suffered a lot underCongress rule.

She said instead of implementing the schemes of the Centrefor developing Puducherry, the Chief Minister was pinning theblame on the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and the Centre.

Puducherry BJP president V Saminathan was among those whospoke.

Earlier, the Union Minister chaired a meeting to review theprogress of implementation of Centrally-sponsored schemes inthe Union Territory and also reviewed arrangements made herefor COVID-19 vaccination.

Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar and Director General ofPolice Balaji Shritvastava were among those present.

The Chief Minister called on Kishan Reddy and presented apetition to him highlighting the pleas of Puducherry forstatehood and also financial assistance from the Centre.

The Union Minister also met Bedi at her office.

Bedi later said ina whatsapp message that the visit of theMinister was most supportive. PTI CORNVG NVG

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