Puducherry will remain as Union Territory: Union Minister

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Puducherry, Jan 3 (PTI): Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Sunday pooh-poohed Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy's allegation that the Centre was planning to dismantle the separate identity of the Union Territory and merge it with neighbouring states.

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

'The Chief Minister has been making baseless statements that the Centre was keen on merger of Puducherry with neighbouring states. This is wrong. Puducherry will remain a Union Territory,' he said, listing the steps taken by the NDA government under leadership of Modi to promote the welfare of the people.

'The NDA government is committed to develop Puducherry through welfare schemes,' he said.

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

Actress Khusboo Sundar, who spoke at the meeting, said the Congress government here had failed the people without implementing welfare measures.

'Fair price shops remain closed for months. Employees were agitating for wages which remain unpaid for long,' she said, alleging that the Union Territory had suffered a lot under Congress rule.

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

Puducherry BJP president V Saminathan was among those who spoke.

Earlier, the Union Minister chaired a meeting to review the progress of implementation of Centrally-sponsored schemes in the Union Territory and also reviewed arrangements made here for COVID-19 vaccination.

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

The Chief Minister called on Kishan Reddy and presented a petition to him highlighting the pleas of Puducherry for statehood 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 the Minister was most supportive. PTI COR NVG NVG