The Union Territory of Puducherry celebrated its 67th Liberation Day on Monday. Chief Minister N. Rangasamy unfurled the national flag at the Gandhi Thidal.
The day marks the ‘de-facto’ merger day of Puducherry, Karaikkal, Yanam and Mahe with the Indian Union, through a treaty of cession signed between the Governments of India and France on November 1, 1954. This followed a referendum held at the village of Kizhoor on October 18, 1954. The ‘de facto’ merger was affected by the transfer of power from the French to the Indian government.
This was ratified in the parliaments of both the countries after which ‘de-jure’ (actual) transfer of power took place on August 16, 1962, and Puducherry became a Union Territory of India. August 16 is celebrated as Independence Day in the Union Territory.
There were several petitions to consider November 1 as Liberation Day and when N. Rangasamy became Chief Minister during his earlier stint in 2014, he declared November 1 as the Liberation Day of Puducherry.
The Chief Minister inspected a guard of honour by the Puducherry armed police. He took the salute of different police contingents, NCC, IRB and Home Guard units during a march past.
Rangasamy also inaugurated a photo exhibition at the handicrafts exhibition hall at Gandhi Thidal. With the Covid 19 pandemic subsiding, cultural programmes were conducted as part of the Liberation Day celebrations.
Puducherry Assembly Speaker R. Selvam, Home Minister A. Namassivayam, Civil Supplies Minister Sai Saravana Kumar, Deputy Speaker P. Rajavelu, Leader of Opposition R. Siva, MLAs and officials participated in the function.
Liberation Day functions were held at Karaikkal, Yanam and Mahe. At Karaikkal, the national flag was unfurled by Transport Minister Chandrika Priyanka while at Yanam the flag was unfurled by PWD Minister K. Lakshminarayan and at Mahe, Agriculture Minister C. Jayakumar unfurled the Tricolour.