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Puducherry CM 'temporarily' suspends 'dharna' outside Raj Nivas


Puducherry, Feb 19: Chief minister V Narayanasamy suspended his indefinite dharna in front of Raj Nivas on Monday night following a four and a half hours meeting with Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.

Addressing the media, the CM said the LG had agreed for devolution of financial powers and to positively consider the files pertaining to Cooperative Sugar mills.

Photo credit: PTI

"Today Dr Kiran Bedi called us for a discussion on the demands on the issues of the people of Puducherry which were raised before her in a letter given on 7 February 2019. We had a 4.5 hours meeting in which we were able to resolve certain major issues of the people," Narayanasamy said.

"We were able to resolve issues to a certain extent - free rice, additional old age pension for 10000 people, increase in age limit in recruitment of police constables, sugar mill to be auctioned in public&settle dues of employees and mill workers, AFT mill VRS issue," he said.

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"There was the issue to delegate financial powers to CM & ministers for which GoI had sent an advisory to Lt Governor. She agreed that she will give the powers from 1 April 2019," he further added.

Earlier in the day, voicing the demand for statehood for the national capital and Puducherry, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday alleged that the BJP-led NDA government was trying to suppress democracy and claimed the situation in the two union territories was the same.

"The kind of ruthlessness with which the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is trying to suppress democracy all over the country is unprecedented," Kejriwal said.

Expressing solidarity with his Puducherry counterpart V Narayanasamy, who is locked in a turf war with Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Kejriwal alleged that the Lt Governors of New Delhi and Puducherry have been interfering in routine administration of the elected governments.

The lieutenant governors in both Delhi and Puducherry were appointees of the BJP-led government at the Centre, he said.

"We will demand that both Delhi and Puducherry be made full states. There is no reason why people of these states should be discriminated against," he added.

Narayanasamy, his cabinet colleagues and MLAs from both the Congress and the DMK have been staging a dharna against Bedi in front of the Raj Nivas in Puducherry since February 13 in protest against her "negative stand" towards various proposals of the territorial government.

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