Puducherry: Puducherry saw a new chief minister and a new Lt Governor taking charge in 2016 during which it embarked on a mission to become India’s “cleanest and most prosperous Union Territory”.
A new Congress government under the leadership of senior leader and former Union minister V Narayanasamy was installed in office on June 6.
While Congress contested the May 16 poll in alliance with DMK, AINRC, which had held the reins of power between 2011-2016, fought the elections on its own so did AIADMK.
The Congress won 15 seats in alliance with the DMK which could capture only two of the 10 seats it contested. While AINRC bagged eight of the 30 seats, AIADMK won only four.
Narayanasamy, a non-member of the House, was elected CLP leader unanimously. He contested a by election from Nellithope segment after newly-elected Congress legislator A John Kumar vacated the seat on September 15. The bypoll was held on November 19 and Narayanasamy defeated his AIADMK rival Om Sakthi Segar by a margin of 11,144 votes.
Besides presenting a tax-free budget for Rs 6,665 crore for the 2016-2017 fiscal, Narayanasamy also released on the floor of the Assembly a new Industrial Policy which was ratified by the House amid Opposition AIADMK’s protest.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi assumed office of the Lt Governor on May 29. From the very day of assuming office, she minced no words to tell officials, political leaders and others that her mission was to ensure that Puducherry emerged India’s ‘cleanest and most prosperous Union Territory’.
The Puducherry Administration has vowed to ensure that the Union Territory becomes ‘open defecation free’ by October 2, 2017. An extensive drive has been launched by the Lt Governor by making visits on bicycles to several areas in and around Puducherry to achieve goal of clean Puducherry on Saturdays and Sundays along with officials.
The ruling Congress held several demonstrations to protest against demonetisation while DMK held a human chain on November 24 to oppose the Centre’s move.
Former Deputy Speaker A V Sreedharan passed away on December 2 in his home town of Palloor in Mahe, an enclave of Puducherry in Karaikal.
But there was no progress on holding of civic bodies polls. No step was taken by the previous Rangasamy-led AINRC government on conducting these polls due since 2011. All civic bodies are now being administered through special officers.
The centrally-sponsored JIPMER opened its off campus centre in Karaikal to enable students there to join the institute for medical course. A separate quota for Karaikal region has been earmarked in the total seats in the first MBBS course in the institute.