Chennai: As the standoff between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi continued even on the first day on the New Year, the CM alleged the Raj Nivas (governor’s residence) in the Union Territory has turned into a BJP office.
Soon after, Bedi hit back at Narayanasamy and urged him to wait for the Madra High Court’s verdict on the issue of her interfering in administrative affairs.
In a series of tweets, Narayansamy said that despite court orders, the Lt Governor was meddling in day-to-day administrative affairs and trying to run a parallel government in Puducherry.
In response to the CM’s tweet that Bedi is scuttling the efforts of his government to raise tax without impacting the people, she said, “I don’t scuttle. I prevent leakages and diversions. Also (I) ensure the government stays within the budgetary limits. We promote direct transfer of moneys to beneficiaries following strictly the policy directives of the Government of India. So that the common man is not deprived of complete money due to him and not lost in transfer.”
She said, “This contention (of interference) has already been challenged by the MHA before the Madras High Court. The judgment is expected any time soon. It might do the CM good to wait for the final verdict.”
Narayanasamy has also alleged that opposition parties were filing petitions against government schemes only because the Lt-Governor compelled them to do so. The CM said his government would not be cowed down by any interruption and would implement all welfare schemes.
"Our decision to supply rice instead of cash equivalent to the quantum of rice as maintained by Kiran Bedi to card holders would hold good soon," he added. In reply, Bedi said, “I do not do that. The opposition is free to choose petitions it deems relevant for them.”
Meanwhile, days after the Lt-Governor issued an order declaring as null and void the appointment of a retired IAS officer as State Election Commissioner by the territorial government, Narayanasamy said on Wednesday the former has "no authority" to rescind it.
"The Home Ministry had only given the guidelines on the modality of appointment in the future. The incumbent TM Balakrishnan, appointed by the government, will continue and he has already commenced work to redraw the territorial limits of the wards and appoint election officers," he said.
Terming the appointment as "fait accompli", the Chief Minister said none could tamper with it. "In case a move is to be made to replace him, the process adopted should be on the same lines followed for impeachment of a judge of a high court through a resolution in the territorial assembly," he said.
The government had appointed Balakrishnan as the SEC in July. On December 20, the Lt-Govenor had issued an order declaring the appointment as "void ab initio".
(With inputs from PTI)