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Puducherry CM and Ministers Sleep Outside L-G Kiran Bedi’s House in Protest, Block All Entrances

After taking a small break to freshen up in the Assembly on Thursday morning, the CM resumed protests outside the L-G’s residence.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:February 14, 2019, 11:55 AM IST
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Puducherry: Tensions between the Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi continue to escalate after the CM, along with his ministers, spent the night outside the Raj Nivas on Wednesday.

The CM, who is embroiled in a power tussle with Bedi over jurisdiction of the union territory, staged a dharna and accused her of “scuttling work” of a constitutionally elected government.

After taking a small break to freshen up in the Assembly on Thursday morning, the CM resumed protests outside the L-G’s residence.

Meanwhile, Kiran Bedi is scheduled to attend a function in Chennai, after which she is expected to take a flight to Delhi on Thursday evening. However, it remains to be seen whether the CM and his ministers will allow her convoy to exit the residence as they have blocked the entrances.

Maintaining that the government has very little say in Puducherry’s governance despite being voted to power by its people, the CM is protesting against Bedi’s recent order that mandates helmets for people on two-wheelers.

CM further accused Bedi of interfering in day-to-day activities of the government, which he says is causing great inconvenience to the people.

"She is behaving like a police constable for implementing the order of wearing compulsory helmets for two wheelers by standing on the road and she is pulling the motorists, which is causing the inconvenience to the public. The government agrees that everyone should wear helmets but it should be implemented in slow manner and not in a single day. Lieutenant governor is not acting according to the position she occupies,” he said.

Protests against the order soon turned violent in the state, after a video that has gone viral on social media showed demonstrators smashing helmets to express their anger.

Reacting to the video, Bedi, in a tweet accused the protestors of contempt of court. "Lawmakers or breakers in Puducherry? These elected representatives are agitating against helmet wearing law enforcement. Will they take responsibility for past & future deaths on road caused by head injuries? They are committing contempt of Supreme Court & Madras HC judgments too,” she wrote.

The Puducherry CM had last week asked the police to go slow on enforcing the helmet rule and asked them to implement it in a phased manner.

Kiran Bedi took to twitter and responded: “Who does not know that wearing a helmet is in their interest? This enforcement has been obstructed by the CM since last year. Every time enforcement picks courage the CM obstructs. While a scooterist dies every third day on the roads of Puducherry.”

| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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