Outgoing Chief Minister of Puducherry and senior Congress leader, V Narayanasamy claims tons of money and Central agencies being used by the Union government led by the BJP to topple the secular government led by him in Puducherry.
Excerpts from a telephone interview.
Q: You resigned as the Chief Minister of Puducherry on Monday, what was the reason for that?
A: Tons of money and Central agencies were used by the Union government led by the BJP to topple the democratically elected government of Puducherry led by secular forces. This is real subversion of democracy and the BJP has proved time and again that it does not have any respect for the people’s mandate and democracy.
Q: The 2021 assembly elections are around the corner, as a senior Congress leader and former CM, what’s your take on the elections?
A: The secular combine of Congress and DMK is well poised for a landslide victory in the next assembly elections which are around the corner. BJP and its coalition do not have the grassroots support in this state and people are really angry at the central government for toppling a democratically elected, secular government. The people of Puducherry will teach the murderers of democracy a lesson.
Q: If the Congress-led combine returns to power in the next elections, will you be the Chief Minister again?
A: I am a Congressman first and a Congressman last. I don’t think that power is the gelling force for me and I am always a party man and accept any responsibility which is bestowed upon me. My point is that bringing back a Congress-led combine is my first priority and we will come back to power in right earnest.
Q: You were on a collision course with Kiran Bedi, former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry but when your government was to face the floor test in the House, the Union government removed her and gave charge to the Telangana Governor, why was it so?
A: Yes, we were fighting against the overindulgence of Lieutenant Governor Hon. Kiran Bedi in the affairs of the government and had petitioned the Union government several times. Unfortunately, all of that fell on deaf ears and the government at the Centre did not pay heed to our pleas. However, when the Puducherry government led by myself was about to take the floor test, they suddenly removed Madam Kiran Bedi as the Lt Governor and as the world knows, gave additional charge to Telangana Governor Hon. Tamilsai Soundararajan as the latter will dance to the tune of her masters at the Centre. This was a clear political move and for that, they didn’t want any hindrances and they might have been apprehensive of Madam Kiran Bedi.
Q: Is the predominant Vanniyar community shifting their stance towards the BJP and will that lead to a major surge in the fortunes of the BJP and its electoral allies.
A: Of course Vanniyar is a major community of Puducherry and they are around 30% of the population of the state but there are other communities as well which have thrown their weight behind the Congress-led combine. Moreover, it’s not correct to state that the Vanniyar community is supporting the BJP-led combine as several senior Congress leaders of this state hail from the Vanniyar community and they have their own constituents who are rock solid behind the Congress-led combine.
Q: What will be your major plank to fight the ensuing assembly elections?
A: The backstabbing by the Union government of a democratically elected secular government will be one of our major points to be communicated to the people of the state. The highly communal and hate-mongering policies of the BJP government at the Centre and the manner in which that party is trying to bring its nefarious ideology to Puducherry will be highlighted during our campaign. Of course the good governance of my government will also be placed before the people of the state.
Q: BJP has been advocating a Congress Mukt Bharat and they are successful in this in south India as the only Congress government in the South was in Puducherry and it has now resigned. Your comments?
A: BJP is trying that theory but as you know they are in a fool’s paradise. Don’t you know that all this drama of “Congress Mukt Bharat” is their wish which will never become a reality and politics has its own ups and downs. Congress is a political party with a pan-Indian presence and we can be considered as a cross-section of this great nation where people from all classes, creed, religion, caste and language live peacefully. How can a party with its avowed policy of hatemongering, state that it’s for a “Congress Multi Bharat”. Congress is a cementing force for this nation and people can join and work in our party without any fear and there is no prejudice in the Congress party based on caste, creed, religion or language and such a party can never be eradicated from the soil of this great nation and the same applies to Puducherry also. These are temporary setbacks and we will bounce back with renewed vigour. (IANS)