Pandemonium in Pondy Assembly over statehood issue

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Puducherry, Apr 10 (UNI) The issue of seeking Statehood for the Union Territory of Puducherry generated much heat in the Territorial Assembly today, with Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao opposing it.

Replying to a query during question hour, Chief Minister N Rangasamy recalled that a unanimous resolution, seeking to amend the constitutional act and the Union Territories Act to enable Puducherry to function as other States, was adopted on May 5 last year and forwarded to the Centre.

He said steps were being taken to get Statehood for Puducherry and he had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard. He would take all the legislators to New Delhi after the budget session to meet the Prime Minister manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to press for the same and expressed confidence that their demand would be met.

Intervening, Leader of the Opposition A M H Nazeem asked the Chief Minister to create a consensus among the people on the issue.

DMK member S P Sivakumar said Mr Rao might have other views, which need to be cleared, so that the decision was unanimous.

Intervening, Mr Rao, representing Yanam constituency, said neither he nor the people of Yanam region had any objection in Puducherry getting additional powers. However, the people of Yanam did not want Statehood for Puducherry. Initially, the demand was for special category state status and now for statehood after the Centre had made it clear that it could not grant special category state status for Puducherry, he noted.

With the AIADMK, DMK, PMC, PMK and CPI members objecting to the views of the Minister, the House plunged into pandemonium. All efforts by Speaker R Radhakrishnan to restore order in the House failed.

At this juncture, the Speaker denied permission for any more discussion on the issue and said if the members had any doubts, they could come to his chambers to clear it.

However, as the members insisted on a clarification on the floor of the House, Mr Radhakrishnan said everybody had the right to express their views and Mr Rao had expressed his views.

UNI PAB GD BDP SSC1333

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