Congress questions BJP over ‘special status’ promise to Puducherry

Vijayawada: Hitting out at the BJP for promising a ‘Special Union Territory’ status to poll-bound Puducherry in its election manifesto, the Congress accused the Centre of playing “opportunistic politics”, stating that it has been denying special status promised to Andhra Pradesh at the time of bifurcation.

Speaking to ANI here, Congress leader and former MP GV Harsha Kumar said, “The BJP has been denying special status to Andhra Pradesh citing objections from NITI Aayog, though the special status was promised to the state at the time of bifurcation. But the same BJP is now promising special status to Puducherry, how is it possible?”

The BJP on March 26, 2021, had released the election manifesto for Puducherry where it promised ‘special Union territory’ status to increase devolution of funds from 25 percent to 40 percent as done in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure development.

The manifesto prepared after getting suggestions from 50,000 people was released by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

It also promises to revise cost-sharing of projects under centrally sponsored schemes in the ratio of 70 percent by the central government and 30 percent by the UT government in place of the current 30:70 formula.

Polling for 30 Assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6.

Of the 30 assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. As many as 10,02,589 electors will choose the candidates for the 15 Legislative Assembly of Puducherry.

While the Congress is fighting the polls in an alliance with DMK, the opposition tie-up consists of All India NR Congress, BJP, and AIADMK.

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