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30 Nov 2023, Edition - 3061, Thursday

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Puducherry heating up again

Covai Post Network


Lt Governor Kiran Bedi kicks up another controversy, ignored elected government and nominates three MLAs from Hindu community. Ruling Congress cries foul and is likely to participate in Puducherry bandh on Saturday to protest against Lt Governor.

Chennai: Opposition ruled states – whether it is West Bengal, Delhi or Puducherry – there is one thing in common. All the elected leaders in these three states are under pressure from the President’s representative – the Governor or Lt Governor.

In West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee is at the receiving end of the Governor’s ire on communal violence in 24 Paraganas. In Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is under severe stress with constant pressure from Lt Governor.

In neighbouring Puducherry, Congress led government is under pressure from Lt Governor, Kiran Bedi, who has launched an onslaught against chief minister V Narayansamy and the elected government on a host of issues. She had last week sought a CBI inquiry into medical admissions and also wanted body to examine and check the alleged corrupt deals of the government. Her other social initiatives and style of functioning has irritated the elected government.

But her latest action – nominating three MLAs and administering them oath of office and secrecy herself – has riled the chief minister and the elected representatives no end. Already the Congress party has moved the Madras High Court pleading that the nomination of three MLAs to assembly be cancelled as due procedure was not followed. The government was not consulted at all. The high court has asked the Puducherry government to respond within one week.

BJP Puducherry president V Swaminathan and treasurer KG Shankar – the other an educationist considered close to the BJP S Selvaganapthy were nominated by the Lt Governor and the same was ratified by the union home ministry.

Critics of her decision point out that nominations to assembly are to give representation to minoritie who otherwise cannot get elected. In Puducherry Christians and fishermen community are the two groups that require representation, said a senior Congress leader. But the three nominated MLAs are from majority Hindu community.

Posters condemning Kiran Bedi and her style of functioning have come up all over the city. And political parties – DMK, CPM and VCK have given a call for bandh on Saturday, which is likely to be supported by the Congress.

Chief Minister V Narayansamy alleged that criminal cases were pending against two of the three MLAs nominated by Ms Bedi. Besides, he said, “the Lt Governor does not have the authority to swear in the MLAs and administer oath of office and secrecy to the nominated MLAs. Only assembly speaker can.”

Kiran Bedi asserted that she went by the rulebook and nothing was amiss. She said she acted as per the Union Territory Act. The oath is and can be administered by administrator. Hence the nomination and oath is valid under the UT Act, she said.

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