Mend Your Ways Or Quit: Puducherry Chief Minister To Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi
Stepping up his attack on Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday said she should either mend her ways or quit after two ministers blamed her for "causing hindrances" in implementing government decisions.
The government was in an unenviable situation due to the 'lack' of allocation of sufficient funds by the Centre and "continued hindrances by the Lieutenant Governor in the implementation of welfare schemes," Narayanasamy told the Union Territory assembly.
He was making an intervention after Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan alleged Bedi was obstructing procurement of paddy from farmers and Welfare Minister M Kandasamy listed 'difficulties' faced by departments under his ministry due to her "constant intervention".
The chief minister said the government was forced to move the court frequently because of the Lieutenant Governor`s intervention whether it was posting a State Election Commissioner or deciding the modalities of operating the free rice scheme.
"Basically we are accountable and answerable to the people whenever welfare schemes come across roadblocks and hiccups... the Lt Governor should either mend her ways or quit," Narayanasamy, whose government has been at loggerheads with Bedi in the past over three years, added.
Bedi, a former Indian Police Service officer, had in the past rejected the charges against her, maintaining she and her office would remain constant and steadfast in principles of administration and zealously guard the way public money is spent.
"While issues change, the duty of the office of Lt. Governor does not change as it is based on legal accountability and not on political volatility," she had said last month after the ruling Congress and others renewed their demand for her recall. Kamalakannan alleged Bedi was acting against the welfare and interests of farmers.
"We urged the Food Corporation of India to purchase the paddy from farmers in the union territory. But the Lt. Governor intervened, spoke to the FCI chairman and prevented the government`s plan," he charged.
He said the Lt. Governor also stood in the way of a proposal to sell land belonging to the Cooperative Marketing Society in Karaikal to the GAIL to help the society meet its liabilities. Kandasamy urged the Chief Minister to arrange for a joint meeting of all the Ministers and MLAs of Puducherry with the President, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to seek a solution to the "sufferings caused by the Lt Governor".