Kiran Bedi, the country’s first woman IPS officer and the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the Delhi Assembly elections last year, was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Sunday. The appointment came three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member Puducherry Assembly.
“The President of India has been pleased to appoint Ms Kiran Bedi, to be the Lt. Governor of Puducherry, with effect from the date she assumes charges of her office,” a communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the appointment, Bedi, 66, said, “I will give it my best, very holistically and very comprehensively, because my approach has always been that every department that is a part of the government has a meaning. If you ask me about security and women, for me every department will get equal attention. I will inspire people to give their best. That’s the way I’ve worked all through… My work has always been on people-centric services.”
She added, “I love working, and I’m so glad that I’ve been given more work. Puducherry is such a wonderful place, such a spiritual place. I think it’s a great opportunity. I want to thank the leadership, which has reposed trust in me.”
After 35 years in police service, the IPS officer joined the BJP in January last year and was projected as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi. After the BJP was routed by the Aam Aadmi Party in the state, the party’s decision to project Bedi as the CM candidate was criticised. Bedi had contested from Krishna Nagar constituency, a traditional BJP bastion, but lost to AAP’s S K Bagga.
In her new assignment in the Union territory of Puducherry, Bedi said she would work on people’s ideas rather than implementing her ideas. “My first task would be to connect with people, listen to the bureaucracy and elected representatives,” she said, adding that she would not go with pre-conceived notions about the people or the state.
Asked if she had a plan that she could start working on soon after taking over, like she had in Delhi, Bedi said, “It would be wrong to compare Delhi and Puducherry. They are different UTs and the requirements of the areas and people would be totally different.” She added, “I would rather listen to what people have to say, what they have done and the improvements required. I have to be a listener.”
The post of Puducherry Lt Governor was under the additional charge of Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Ajay Singh for nearly two years. The government had sacked UPA nominee Virendra Kataria on July 11, 2014. Kataria had been appointed to the post barely a year before.