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3-min read

Guv Kiran Bedi's Remarks Demeaning People of TN Echoes in Assembly, DMK Demands Her Removal

Stalin wanted to refer to Bedi's remarks while speaking in the House on a calling attention motion on the water shortage situation but Speaker did not allow him citing Assembly rules that forbade discussions about Governor.

PTI

Updated:July 1, 2019, 10:45 PM IST
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Guv Kiran Bedi's Remarks Demeaning People of TN Echoes in Assembly, DMK Demands Her Removal
File photo of Lt. Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi. (Image: Reuters)
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Chennai/Puducherry: DMK legislators Monday staged a walkout from the Assembly after Speaker P Dhanapal did not allow Leader of Opposition MK Stalin to raise an issue involving remarks by Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on the water scarcity here.

The DMK also wanted Bedi to apologise for her comments and urged President Ram Nath Kovind to remove her from the office.

Stalin wanted to refer to Bedi's remarks while speaking in the House on a calling attention motion on the water shortage situation but Speaker did not allow him citing Assembly rules that forbade discussions about Governor.

Condemning the remarks by Bedi, Stalin led his party members in staging a walkout. Comments made by him and Law Minister CV Shanmugam on the issue were expunged by the Chair.

The Puducherry Lt Governor, referring to a media report on the water situation here, had said Sunday that Chennai has become the first city in the country to run dry four years after it witnessed floods due to copious rains.

The people's perception, in response to the report, was that the situation arose due to "poor governance, corrupt politics and indifferent bureaucracy," she said.

On Monday, she said she shared only the people's perception. "It is not my personal view and hence there is nothing personal in the message," she added.

Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, the DMK chief alleged Bedi had blamed "poor governance, corrupt politics, indifferent bureaucracy and highly selfish and cowardly attitude of the people," for the Chennai's water crisis on her twitter handle.

He also cited media reports in this regard.

If political parties were criticised by her, it could have been tolerated but her remarks were against the people, he said, adding the comments were "uncivilised and insulted the people of Tamil Nadu".

"The Puducherry Lt Governor's comments are condemnable. We will not accept it for any reason, we have staged a walkout condemning it," he said.

The DMK chief, later in a statement, demanded that Bedi withdraw her comments and apologise to the people of Tamil Nadu.

"Only then the dignity of her office will be saved," he said, urging the President to remove her from the office immediately and make everyone understand the values of Indian Constitution.

"Tamil Nadu people are compassionate and patriotic," he said.

They lent a helping hand to people in need of support anywhere in the country, and donated liberally during times of war and several soldiers from the state are martyred everyday in defending the borders of the nation, he added.

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu lashed out at Bedi for her comments, saying it did not befit her office.

"The Centre itself has admitted that half of the Indian districts were suffering from water shortage... Chennai has received 62 per cent less rain last year compared to 2017," party's literary wing secretary and former minister B Valarmathi said in a statement.

Despite the four reservoirs supplying water to Chennai drying up, the government was providing 525 million litre a day (mld), which was 75 mld more than what was being supplied in 2017, she said.

Besides, other sources like Veeranam lake in Cuddalore district and water from Krishna river in Andhra Pradesh were also augmenting the supply, she said, adding that the party-led government was doing every bit it can in this matter.

"It is condemnable that the Puducherry Lt Governor has made some callous remarks not knowing these (or) by ignoring these facts," she said.

"... It does not befit the post she holds. She should not shirk her responsibility of ensuring the rightful share of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Cauvery river and she should confine herself to the job entrusted to her and maintain dignity," she added.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK party unit in Puducherry said they would urge the Centre to take action against Bedi. Both the AIADMK and DMK in the Union territory have announced protests against her.

Asking Bedi to withdraw her remarks, the AIADMK said it will hold protests, while the DMK said it will organise a "lay siege to Raj Nivas," protest tomorrow.

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