The Puducherry Assembly on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution seeking full statehood that will give it a greater operational freedom to fulfil people's aspirations. Full statehood for Puducherry it is hoped that it will ease tension and confrontation between the elected government and the office of the Lt Governor.
Just like Delhi, Puducherry has also become another theatre of war between an elected government and the Lt Governor. Chief Minister V Narayansamy and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi are at loggerheads on a host of issues.
The Chief Minister insists that the LG has no powers to act without the advice of the elected government, the LG thinks otherwise.
On Thursday, the 60-member Puducherry Assembly unanimously passed a resolution seeking full statehood for the Union Territory. Moving the resolution chief minister Naraynsamy said that Puducherry was losing out on central grants as it was not a full state. The state is also out of the purview of the Finance Commission as it was not a full state, the Chief Minister said. When it comes to GST, the central government treated Puducherry as a state but not on other matters, he said.
In fact, the big fight in Puducherry started the moment Kiran Bedi was sent as the Lt Governor to Puducherry soon after the Congress party won the state and formed a government under Narayansamy. Since then, the two authorities have been on loggerheads on every issue.
While the Chief Minister felt that it was his decision when it came to governance that would be final, the LG threw the rule book at him to wrest all powers of the government, on financial matters as well, curbing the efficacy of the state government to deliver on its poll promises, said a senior Congress leader.
The Chief Minister himself had charged Kiran Bedi with functioning as the agent of the BJP rather than as a Lt Governor. He had taken serious offence to the manner in which three BJP leaders were nominated to the state assembly the Lt Governor.
After the recent Supreme Court order on Delhi Lt Governor, taking him to task for interfering in the functioning of the elected government and upholding the supremacy of the elected government, Puducherry too was hopeful the judgment would be applicable to the Union territory too. Narayansamy had welcomed the SC decision and alleged that Kiran Bedi was also undermining the elected government. "LG cannot function according to their whims and fancies," Narayansamy maintains.
In Puducherry, the Lt Governor has been holding meetings with officials without even informing the elected government representatives, which is also the subject matter of continuing confrontation between the Chief Minister and the Lt Governor.
A full statehood, said a political analyst, could reduce the scope for a confrontation with the clear-cut demarcation of powers of the two offices. However, it is not the first time that Puducherry Assembly has resolved for full statehood.
Even Narayansamy's predecessor N Rangaswamy, moved a similar resolution, which at that time was opposed by the Congress and its allies, the DMK and the Left in the Puducherry assembly.