Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said it is not feasible to hold simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. "Simultaneous polls are not feasible. I have written letters to the Law Commission and Home Ministry stating my stand on the subject," he told reporters here. The idea to conduct simultaneous elections is not an acceptable proposition, he said. He said the Law Commission has convened a two-day meeting with all national and state political parties to discuss its feasibility.
The need for holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies has been voiced for several years now. More recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also voiced his support to the idea. The chief minister said he had apprised Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who was on a day-long visit to Puducherry yesterday, of the various grievances of the territorial government. Narayanasamy said he had sought his intervention to procure sufficient funds for Puducherry and also placed before him the plea that it be granted "statehood with special category status".
He said he also took up various other issues such as -- including Puducherry in the Fifteenth Finance Commission, waiver of loans and 25 per cent quota of seats in UG and PG courses in Pondicherry University. The chief minister said as the Vice President is the chancellor of the central university here, he had requested him to establish an institute of environment sciences and a department for skill development among others. "The Vice-President assured me that he would consider the plea to include Puducherry as one of the constituent regions of the Finance Commission," he added.
Naidu had also assured him that he would soon convene a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of the university to meet all the demands in so far as university-related subjects were concerned, Narayanasamy said. He reiterated that Lt Governor Kiran Bedi "does not have any authority to deny approval to any of the decisions the government took". The chief minister said the recent verdict of the Supreme Court on the power tussle between the Lt Governor of Delhi and the elected government there was applicable to the Puducherry, too.
"The verdict is totally applicable to Puducherry also and this point has been repeatedly pointed out leaving no room for any doubt and wrong understanding," he said. The Lt Governor here "cannnot reject" any of the cabinet decisions and could only seek clarification for any part of the decisions, Narayanasamy asserted. Meanwhile, the government reimbursed students from the union territory who took the recent NEET examination in centres in other states. Narayanasamy said 304 students from Puducherry, who appeared for NEET in other states and incurred expenditure for travel and boarding, were reimbursed by the government.