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Puducherry CM Joins Issue With Bedi Over Free Rice Scheme

The court sought the law ministry’s response after going through a statement by the World Health Organisation, which has declared virginity testing as unscientific, medically unnecessary and unreliable.

The court sought the law ministry’s response after going through a statement by the World Health Organisation, which has declared virginity testing as unscientific, medically unnecessary and unreliable.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Tuesday accused Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of being keen to "bring disrepute" to his government by pushing for the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode for welfare schemes such as free rice and garments distribution. He also claimed that implementation of One Nation One Ration Card schemewould be totally impossible in the union territory if Bedi stuck to her stand favouring DBT, which envisages transfer of cash equivalent to the benefits to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Puducherry: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Tuesday accused Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of being keen to “bring disrepute” to his government by pushing for the direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode for welfare schemes such as free rice and garments distribution. He also claimed that implementation of One Nation One Ration Card schemewould be totally impossible in the union territory if Bedi stuck to her stand favouring DBT, which envisages transfer of cash equivalent to the benefits to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

“Distribution of free rice is the policy decision of the elected government. This was the first promise our government gave after assuming office in 2016. Distribution of rice was adopted by previous governments here. It is nothing new. The Lt Governor is keen about bringing in disrepute to the elected government by taking the stand to adopt DBT mode,” he charged. Talking to reporters here, Narayanasamy referred to Bedi’s recent statement that DBT was the just and honest mode in implementation of the free rice scheme and said she suspected corrupt practices would creep in if rice was distributed.

“If distribution of rice would attract corrupt practices, what about the bigger states where rice is distributed without transfer of cash to bank accounts of beneficiaries.Does Bedi mean that there is corruption in such states?” he asked.

He said the government would procure rice from the Food Corporation of India and there was absolutely no room for any irregularity or corrupt practices. Narayanasamy claimed late Ram Vilas Paswan had approved the Puducherry government’s decision to distribute rice to the ration cardholders when he was the Minister for consumer Affairs and questioned Bedi’s push for DBT.

The chief minister said the government’s plea in the Supreme Court for distribution of rice was pending. He maintained that the Centre was accepting whatever Bedi suggested, “causing disruption” in the implementation of decisions of the elected government here.

“The Raj Nivas (office of the Lt Governor) is also functioning as headquarters of the BJP,” he alleged, adding Bedi should refrain from “harassing offices, putting obstacles in the welfare schemes and bringing bad name to the elected government.” .

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