Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Sunday called upon voters to ensure the victory of the Congress nominee and former Speaker V Vaithilingam in the April 18 Lok Sabha poll as 'welfare of the poor would see a big improvement.' He said this during a campaign to seek votes for the Secular Progressive Alliance. The senior Congress leader said the welfare of the poor would witness improvement through the schemes AICC leader Rahul Gandhi had announced through the party's poll manifesto.
Narayanasamy said the minimum income guarantee scheme conceptualised by the AICC to provide a monthly income of Rs 6,000 to the poor families would bring huge relief to the poorer sections. The amount would be credited in the bank account of the women members in families," he said highlighting the various promises in the manifesto.
He further said, "We are facing an embarrassment because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been denying adequate grants to Puducherry and also because of the interference in administrative matters by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi." The Chief Minister said the distribution of rice free of cost was now kept on hold as the official machinery was citing the model code of conduct being in force now. Once the election gets over, rice would be available to the cardholders from April 19, the day after the Lok Sabha poll, he said.
PCC leader and Minister for Public Works A Namassivayam, who accompanied the Chief Minister during the electioneering, also spoke. Meanwhile, AINRC leader N Rangasamy charged Narayanasamy with blaming the NDA government at the Centre and Bedi for the territorial government's failure to implement welfare schemes.
Campaigning in Raj Bhavan Assembly segment seeking votes for AINRC nominee and doctor-turned-politician K Narayanasamy, Rangasamy said the Chief Minister had not tackled unemployment problem since assuming office in June 2016. The AINRC founder further said V Narayanasamy should maintain cordial relations with Bedi in the interest of development of the union territory without criticising her.
AIADMK leader A Anbalagan, who accompanied the AINRC leader during the electioneering, said the Congress had failed to take any step to end farmers' woes. "The territorial government had not taken steps to protect ryots in Karaikal with regard to the Cauvery issue," he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)