Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday dared Lt Governor Kiran Bedi to prove her charges of “corruption and malpractices” in admission to Post Graduate courses in private medical colleges in Puducherry. Making a “suo moto” statement after question hour in the Assembly, he asserted that government’s Centralised Admission Committee has adhered strictly to orders issued by the Health Ministry, Medical Council of India, the Supreme Court and High courts in conducting counselling to select students for PG and diploma courses in private colleges during 2017-18 academic year in the Union Territory.
“It is for the first time that the Puducherry government had procured 50 per cent quota of total seats in PG courses in the colleges under government category for students of the Union Territory as no government in the past had initiated any step to do so,” he said. “The counselling by CENTAC was conducted in a transparent and fair manner,” he added. The 50 per cent quota under government category was also filled in a fair manner through the counselling, he said.
However, the Lt Governor had levelled allegations of corruption against officers and political leaders in selection of students. After highlighting statutory procedures followed in conducting counselling, Narayanasamy rebutted Bedi’s charges of “malpractices and corruption” in selection of candidates to PG courses, saying she should prove her allegations.
“Kiran Bedi should establish her allegations that malpractices were committed in finalising the list of students and that 71 seats were bartered away to private colleges,” he said, taking strong exception to the charges. Narayanasamy said that he would file a defamation suit against “anyone making false and unfounded allegations against the government that corrupt practices were adopted in PG medical admissions.”
He said Bedi had made “utterly false allegations during her visit to the office of CENTAC during counselling on May 30 and 31.” The Chief Minister demanded that Bedi tender an “open apology” for levelling such charges against officials and politicians. “She is also casting a slur on the Congress government in Puducherry, political leaders and government machinery,” he said. He reiterated that the administration had conducted the counselling in a transparent manner, ensuring statutory reservation for students of the OBC, MBC, Backward Class (Muslim), Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Later, talking to reporters in his chamber, the Chief Minister said the Lt Governor had no authority to be present at CENTAC during counselling. “She also threatened CENTAC officials to act according to her directions,” Narayanasamy alleged. “The question now arises whether Kiran Bedi deserved to occupy the post,” he said taking a dig at the Lt Governor. He took strong exception to the Secretary to Lt Governor, G Theva Needhi Dhas, acting “arbitrarily` in filing counter-affidavit in the Madras High Court as a respondent in a Public Interest Litigation petition filed on medical college admission by parents and students.
“Dhas did not inform the Health Minister, Chief Secretary, Health Secretary and Law Department before filing the counter affidavit. He had also not informed me of the situation,” Narayanasamy said adding that he would write to the Union Home Minister apprising him of the conduct of Dhas, an IAS officer.