|De facto transfer of power day celebrated|
Helping the needy: Chief Minister N Rangasamy presents a freedom fighter with a gift coupon in Puducherry on Thursday.
PUDUCHERRY: Chief Minister N. Rangasamy said on Thursday that the Government would soon take steps to distribute house site pattas to freedom fighters.
Speaking on the occasion of de facto transfer of power day celebrations organised by the Department of Information and Publicity, he said that the government had the welfare of the freedom fighters in mind and only recently it had increased the monthly pension to Rs 4,000.
The Chief Minister also presented gift coupons worth Rs 1,000 to around 2,400 freedom fighters. MLAs N. Kalainathan and R. Viswanathan, Tourism Secretary A. Anbarasu, Information Department Director S. Chandrasekar and Freedom Fighters Welfare Cell Welfare Officer V Sakunthala were present.
Apart from pension, freedom fighters are provided with free telephone connections, 4 per cent reservation in education for their children and grandchildren, ‘A’ Class wards in government hospitals and a relief of Rs 2,000 in case of death of either spouse.
According to the agreement between India and France providing for de facto transfer of administration of the territory of French establishments in India, signed in New Delhi on October 21, 1954, with effect from November 1, 1954, the Government of India took over the administration of the territory.
This day is known as de facto merger day in Puducherry, though August 16 has been celebrated as the de jure Independence Day.
In the morning, several organisations including the Pondicherry State Freedom Fighters Federation, the All India Trade Union Congress and the Communist Party of India hoisted the national flag to mark the occasion.
Members of the Freedom Fighters Federation also took out a procession. On Wednesday, addressing a press conference, All India Congress Committee Member V. Bhalan pleaded with the government to declare November 1 as Puducherry’s Independence Day.
Some associations including the Vanchinathan Manram and Historical Society of Puducherry have also highlighted the demand.
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