Puducherry: Senior Congress leader and former Puducherry Home Minister P Kannan on Thursday said that to tackle the "deteriorating" law and order situation in Puducherry, the union territory government should emulate efforts being made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Showering praise on Jayalalithaa, Kannan said, "Hats off to Jayalalithaa for her firm stand that the criminals should be handled with an iron hand."

Kannan announced an agitation on February 23 to press the N Rangasamy-led All India NR Congress Government to use the stringent Goondas Act to curb "rising" crime in the Union Territory.

Kannan said Rangasamy should emulate the "firm steps his Tamil Nadu counterpart was taking to curb anti-social elements in her state".

Jayalalithaa had on Wednesday asked the state police to handle rioters, murderers and dacoits with an "iron fist".

Kannan, a Rajya Sabha member, accused Rangasamy of not being interested in enforcing the Goondas Act and said that he (Kannan) had taken up the issue at a meeting with him on February 12.

The Congress protest, to be led by Kannan, comes in the backdrop of the opposition charge that the law and order in the former French colony had deteriorated in recent weeks.

"If people are not assured of protection to their life and property there was no need for the present government to remain in office," Kannan said.