Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre for “letting down farmers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry by deliberately delaying the formation of Cauvery Management Board (CMB).”
“The delay by the prime minister and the Centre in constituting the board exposes the NDA government’s intention to let down farmers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry dependent on the Cauvery system for irrigation,” he told reporters here.
He said the Centre was also “adopting all means to ensure the CMB was not formed in spite of a clear order from the Supreme Court to set up the board.”
The Chief Minister charged that the prime minister had time to fly abroad and take up electioneering in poll-bound Karnataka but “has no time to concentrate on forming the Board as a solution to address the hardships of farmers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.”
Referring to the “continued blocking of implementation of vital schemes including free rice scheme by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi,” he said the free rice scheme is a programme of the State government and its expenditure is being met by the territorial administration. She later withdrew the order on the free rice scheme after her decision came in for criticism from various quarters.
The Lt Governor had no authority to block implementation of schemes in rural areas by imposing “amusing conditions”, he alleged. He said the territorial government had earmarked Rs 140 crore for implementing the free rice scheme to benefit the poorer sections, members of scheduled castes and backward classes for a period of six months from April this year.
Bedi, however, intervened and blocked the implementation of the scheme by imposing a condition that unless the villages were open defecation-free and garbage-free it would be kept on hold, he alleged. He announced that financial assistance of Rs 1,500 would be provided to each student from Puducherry allotted NEET centers outside the Union Territory besides traveling allowance. Narayanasamy asked the candidates to contact his office for assistance even after appearing for the examination for admission to medical courses, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow.