Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy is on a warpath with Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Raj Nivas, Bedi’s residence, has turned into a protest site. The entire UT cabinet has descended to the streets opposing Bedi and her style of work. Congress and DMK MLAs are also participating in the protest.
Stepping up the attack on Bedi, CM Narayanasamy began a dharna on Wednesday with his ministerial colleagues outside Raj Nivas, demanding that LG accord sanction for 39 government proposals, including a free rice scheme. DMK Chief M K Stalin has also extended support to Narayanasamy.
Police have barricaded the Raj Nivas, Governor’s official residence, and surrounding streets in order to prevent entry of unauthorised persons in the protest area.
Bedi on her part had sent a letter and termed the protest as unlawful. The Congress’ government’s action invited a sharp response from the former IPS officer where she said that instead of waiting for her response to CM’s February 7 letter, they have come to Raj Nivas, demanding a reply in this unlawful manner, which is unheard of from a person of the CM.
The Lt Governor also said that all the issues Narayanasamy had mentioned in his letter needed examination for a ‘considered response’ and claimed that nothing was pending at the Raj Nivas, as alleged.
Meanwhile, according to news agency PTI, Narayanasamy was seen clearing official files at the venue of the agitation.
Bedi noted that the Chief Minister had never said in his letter that he and his colleagues would begin a dharna in front of Raj Nivas unless a reply was obtained by February 13. Bedi invited Narayanasamy for a detailed discussion on February 21 at Raj Nivas.
“Kiran Bedi should mend her ways and sanction her approval to our decisions. If she wants, she can contest an election in Puducherry”, PTI quoted Narayanasamy as saying. Narayanasamy also alleged that the Lt Governor had not approved 39 government proposals, sent to her for approval since the last few weeks.
The Chief Minister said that they took strong exception to the ‘continued rejection of government proposals to ameliorate the lot of the poor and have-nots.’ He cited various instances, including implementation of the free rice scheme, grants to privately managed educational institutions, the sanction of funds for government undertakings and implementation of various welfare schemes for Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and OBCs which were stalled by the Lt Governor though funds were earmarked in the budget for them.
Narayanasamy insisted that they would leave the venue only after getting a positive reply from the Lt Governor that she would concede to all their proposals.
The Lt Governor and the government headed by Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads over various issues ever since Bedi assumed office in May 2016. Recently, Narayanasamy had led an agitation in front of Parliament, pushing for the demand that the Centre sanction statehood for Puducherry and to replace Kiran Bedi as Lt Governor.
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Source: Financial Express