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04 Dec 2023, Edition - 3065, Monday

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Puducherry witnessing power struggle between chief minister and Lt Governor

Covai Post Network


As was written by Covaipost in the month of May, Puducherry has begun to hot up – politically, with the elected Congress government and the Centre’s representative in Lt Governor on a possible confrontation in the days and weeks to come. For the present, though, the situation has not come to that pass, but signs are very much visible of friction between the holders of the two constitutional posts.

Chief minister V Narayansamy, a politician with rich experience and a former key minister in Dr Manmohan Singh’s PMO, and a very high profile former IPS officer, India’s first woman IPS official and BJP’s chief ministerial candidate against Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi polls, Kiran Bedi, are just at the starting gate of what appears to be another arena for BJP versus Congress fight through proxy.

Though the two worthies vehemently deny that there is anything amiss in the state, tension is palpable and if you are a government servant in Puducherry, you could be excused if you are in a state of confusion.

With Kiran Bedi embarking on her own administrative initiatives, creating a lot of heartburn among the elected representatives, ministers and even the CM, the state is slowly being set for a potential conflagration.

Bedi began with reforming the policing system in the union territory and then followed it up with cleanliness drive and sanitation programme. And now has begun efforts to get the administration preparing to face monsoons and possible floods along with a review of flood relief measures that the UT can carry out, if an eventuality arose.

According to sources in the Puducherry government, the chief minister had asked the officials not to bypass the elected representatives and that they should take their orders from the ministers only. What the chief minister and his ministers were upset about was the spate of watsapp groups that the governor apparently was using to get through to the officials and people at large.

The CM’s advice to officials not to give serious consideration to ‘advices or orders’ sent through watsapp messages was justified, says a section of the officials.

Narayansamy, officially does not admit that there is any problem, and asserts that he and the Lt Governor got along very fine and both were working within the Constitution. The Lt Governor knows the rules and regulations and the Constitution and is doing her job, the chief minister told media persons at a hurriedly convened media conference in Puducherry on Saturday.

Though the Lt Governor and Chief minister are unanimous in denying friction, a political analyst said that in their denial lies the confirmation of some trouble up ahead.

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