Narayanasamy-led Cong govt in Puducherry was a disaster, says Modi

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Eds: Combining related stories, recasts intro Puducherry, Mar 30 (PTI) Targeting senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the previous party government headed by him was a 'disaster' that failed on all fronts and lampooned him over not being fielded for the April 6 Assembly polls here.

However, Narayanasamy, in an interview to PTI earlier in the day, said he himself had informed the party high command that he will involve in election work while the PCC chief is in the fray here.

Addressing an election rally of the NDA, attended by AINRC founder and former chief minister N Rangasamy, AIADMK and BJP leaders, Modi said he saw a 'huge wave' in support of the National Democratic Alliance in the poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and this union territory.

Training his guns against Narayanasamy, who resigned as chief minister last month after his government was reduced to a minority following a spate of resignations, Modi pointed out that the senior Congress leader was not contesting the polls this time.

'In the long list of non-performing Congress governments over the years, the previous Puducherry government has a special place.The high command government,Delhi high command government of Puducherry failed on all fronts,' he said.

The Narayanasamy-led dispensation failed in all sectors like education, filling of medical seats, welfare of SC/ST communities and 'there was loot and only loot,' Modi alleged.

He alleged Congress MLAs were 'openly talking' about corruption 'directly linked to the family of the former chief minister.' He had a 'reasonably long experience in politics,' Modi said, adding he has seen many elections but held that this year's polls here were 'unique.' That is 'because the sitting chief minister has not been given a ticket. So many years of loyalty, lifting slippers of leader, doing wrong translation to impress his leader (Rahul Gandhi)-- still no ticket-- this clearly shows how much of a disaster his government has turned out to be,' Modi said about Narayanasamy.

During a 2015 visit of flood affected areas here, images purportedly showing Narayanasamy holding slippers for Gandhi had gone viral, though the former claimed he offered his footwear to the Congress leader after he removed his shoes to wade through stagnant water.

On the row surrounding his alleged wrong translation to Gandhi of a woman complaining about his government during the Wayanad MP's earlier visit, the former CM had said he had not heard her but could only hear the word 'Nivar' (cyclone that impacted the UT last November) and mentioned to his leader he had actually rushed to the place soon after the landfall of the weather system.

Earlier in the day, Narayanasamy had ruled out any possibility of him taking on the mantle of chief ministership if the Congress-led alliance comes to power in Puducherry, saying he would turn down such an offer and would work 24X7 to strengthen the party here.

In remarks that came days after his name did not figure in the list of 14 candidates announced by the Congress for the Assembly polls, he asserted he was not in the fray as there was a need to coordinate poll-related works and programmes of the party in the Union Territory.

In his telephonic interview with PTI, Narayanasamy said, 'our PCC chief (A V Subramanian) is contesting this election. There should be coordination in the campaign and among candidates, therefore, I myself told the high command that I will take care of election work.' 'So, there is no question of leadership denying (me a ticket). I myself said I will campaign,' Narayanasamy, who has been the face of the party in the Union Territory since he became the Puducherry CM in 2016 till his government fell in February, asserted.

On Tuesday, Modi, sharing dais with NDA leaders for the first time after the announcement of single phase polls in the UT, said that the promises in Congress' manifesto (of 2016) have not been fulfilled.

'Even now Congress is not giving a report card of the work they done in the five years,' he said.

Modi said that after the election to five states were announced he had been to Assam and West Bengal quite a few times and pointed out he was in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu earlier in the day, before arriving here.

'In all four states and UT, I am seeing a huge wave in favour of the NDA,' he said.

While BJP is seeking another term in Assam, it aims to upset the ruling TMC and CPIM-led LDF in West Bengal and Kerala, respectively.

Its ally AIADMK is seeking another term in Tamil Nadu, after winning the 2011 and 2016 polls.

Underlining his government's commitment to Puducherry, Modi listed the various initiatives in different sectors including medical education, fishing and sports and said the UT could play a key role in the Centre's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', an idea of attaining self-sufficiency in various spheres.

In his address, Rangasamy said the UT witnessed 'dark period' during Congress-DMK rule in Puducherry in the last five years and said it had failed all sections of people including the unemployed youth.

Meanwhile, in a video message here, Narayanasamy alleged that Puducherry's constitutional status will be lost if BJP is voted to power.

BJP was not interested in granting statehood to Puducherry and the UT would face the same situation like Delhi, where the LG has been given more powers after a bill was passed in Parliament, and it would be at the 'mercy' of the Lieutenant Governor for implementing schemes and proposals, he claimed. PTI CORR ASK BJ SA BN BN