A delegation of MLAs led by Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Monday met Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and submitted a copy of the resolution adopted by the Assembly seeking Statehood for the Union Territory.

Speaker V. Vaithilingam, Ministers and MLAs, including those from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam were part of the contingent.

Minister for Public Works Department A Namassivayam, second in-commandant in the Cabinet, was absent as he had to rush back to Puducherry for a family function after attending the Congress Working Meeting on Sunday evening.

However, Minister for Health Malladi Krishna Rao, a staunch opponent of Statehood as he could lose his Yanam constituency, abstained from the meeting with the Home Minister as he did during the Assembly debate on Statehood.

No representative of the All India N.R. Congress, the principal Opposition party, was present in the delegation. The party had supported the resolution moved by the government in the Assembly. A private member resolution moved by AINRC N.S.J. Jayabal seeking Statehood was converted as a government resolution in the Assembly following a ruling given by the Speaker.

The delegation met AIADMK leader Thambi Durai and DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (CPI) Puducherry unit urged the Prime Minister to take steps to repeal the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 and enact a new Government of Puducherry Act, 2018 in Parliament to confer Statehood on Puducherry under Article 253 of the Constitution.

‘14 resolutions’

A.M. Saleem, CPI State Secretary, pointed out that the Puducherry Legislature had so far passed 14 resolutions urging the Centre to bestow Statehood on Puducherry with all four enclaves, based on the experience of the existing 1963 Act failing to satisfy the growing democratic aspiration of the people.

At present, Puducherry was not treated as a State and excluded from the Central Finance Commission and other grants nor its local bodies mandated for the purposes of devolution of fund from the Central pool, the CPI leader said. He urged the Centre to waive the legacy debt burden of Rs. 1,750 crore which was given prior to the opening of Public Account of Puducherry in 2007.

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