Puducherry: As MLAs line up at L-G Kiran Bedi’s door, CM says no war with her

The AAP was among the first to point out that the controversy has shades of the confrontation between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published:August 7, 2016 3:30 am
krishnaswamy bedi 759 Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi

Amid growing noise over reported overreach by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Saturday asserted that there was no “clash” between his ministry and Bedi, and that both were functioning within powers demarcated for them in the Constitution.

His statement came after growing talk of Bedi interfering in administration of the UT, including directly communicating with officers on WhatsApp and meeting Congress leaders considered the CM’s rivals. On Tuesday, Narayanasamy had convened a meeting and reminded officers about protocol to be followed in handling official matters, especially not bypassing ministers.

The AAP was among the first to point out that the controversy has shades of the confrontation between Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi. The party Saturday said Bedi, who was BJP’s CM candidate against Kejriwal, was “rejected by the people of Delhi… and (as L-G) issues orders that should be taken by an elected CM”.

Recently, Congress leader and Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam, who was among contenders for the CM post, took residents of his constituency to meet Bedi over a civic issue. MLAs from other parties have also approached her directly, seeking her intervention in clearing, among other local civic issues, an encroachment on stormwater drains.

Bedi herself makes rounds of Puducherry markets to know the prices of items. Recently, she announced a ‘Prosperous Puducherry’ mission to clean the Union Territory, and invited actor Rajinikanth to be its ambassador.

“She has drafted plans for traffic management, the beach road has been cleaned on her direction, and she calls us the moment she gets a tweet from the public on anything,” a senior secretary said.

A leader close to Narayanasamy said the CM has given Bedi a long rope. “Her market visits, direct interventions in civic issues or self-styled announcements through social media…he has no issues with those. But what should a CM do if she takes government files directly to her office, summons officials to her chamber, and gives them directions on WhatsApp,” he asked. Asked about Bedi’s alleged interventions, former Puducherry CM N Rangaswamy said, “That is fine.”

Narayanasamy said, “Some of these reported incidents are a bit exaggerated. Even on Friday night, I had dinner with her…. There are certain rules and procedures regarding powers of an elected government and an L-G, (and) there wouldn’t be any issues as long these are followed.”

Bedi admitted creating multiple WhatsApp groups for various sectors, and said these were to speed up communication.

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  1. A
    Jan 29, 2017 at 5:47 am
    As long as LG's work supplements the CMs, it is fine. LG should not cross the consutional line and as long as it results in resolution of peoples problems, there should be no issue
  2. J
    Aug 7, 2016 at 12:24 am
    It is getting worse by the day in Pondicherry where Kiran Bedi is acting like CM. People of Pondicherry and Delhi suffering because of BJP meddling in state governemnt affairs. Every day we hear statement from Bedi and Jung thinking they are Boss.
  3. S
    Aug 7, 2016 at 5:33 am
    Arvind Kejriwal must learn from the coordinated working of the Puduchery LG and CM. And IE could have used it as a positive example rather than trying to again sell the Kejru drama
  4. S
    Aug 7, 2016 at 5:29 am
    She is an excellent administrator and the CM seems happy with her playing an active role in solving problems. Why turn it into a political issue?
  5. S
    Aug 7, 2016 at 5:31 am
    The two are two different issues. Just because she lost Delhi elections does not curtail her rights and responsibilities as the LG of Puduchery
  6. S
    Sunil Kumar KR
    Aug 7, 2016 at 3:43 am
    The article also says: “rejected by the people of Delhi… and (as L-G) issues orders that should be taken by an elected CM”.
  7. H
    Aug 7, 2016 at 2:09 am
    HC already told - "Najeeb is THE boss". Earlier AAP understands it , it's better for Delhites.
  8. V
    Aug 6, 2016 at 11:58 pm
    IE is deliberately trying to draw parallels with AAP administered Delhi to show BJP interferes in Puducherry as well. Puducherry has exactly the same setup as Delhi. UT with an elected embly. Unfortunately for AAP and IE, Puducherry CM Narayanaswamy refused to fall into their trap. He has clarified many times he has no issues with Kiran Bedi and whereever there are differences they are sorted out behind closed doors. In fact I would suggest AK take some lessons from Narayaswamy as to how to govern a UT and do it effectively. All of you have to do is to visit Puducherry to know how well managed it is. The reason being the CM instead of name calling and blamegame puts his head down and actually works.
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