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Kiran Bedi blames Tamil Nadu’s ‘corrupt politics’ for water scarcity; Stalin demands apology

On Monday, DMK legislators staged a walkout from the Assembly after Speaker P Dhanapal did not allow Leader of Opposition Stalin to raise an issue involving remarks by Bedi on the water scarcity.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 2, 2019 12:55:42 pm
Kiran Bedi blames Tamil Nadu's 'poor governance, corrupt politics' for water scarcity; MK Stalin demands apology Kiran Bedi’s tweet evoked strong reactions from the leaders across the state including DMK Chief MK Stalin. (File)

Reacting to Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi’s tweet, in which she had blamed the Tamil Nadu government for the water crisis in the state, DMK chief MK Stalin demanded an apology from her.

On Sunday, Bedi had tweeted, “A question with possible answers: India’s 6th largest city Chennai has become the first city in the country to run dry. The same city was in floods due to copious rains just 4 years back. Where lies the problem? Ans: Poor Governance, Corrupt Politics, Indifferent Bureaucracy+.”

Bedi’s tweet evoked strong reactions from the leaders across the state, including Stalin. On Monday, DMK legislators staged a walkout from the Assembly after Speaker P Dhanapal did not allow Stalin, who is also the Leader of Opposition, to raise an issue involving remarks by Bedi on the water scarcity citing Assembly rules that forbade discussions about Governor. Stalin’s party also wanted Bedi to apologise for her comments and urged President Ram Nath Kovind to remove her from the office immediately and make everyone understand the values of Indian Constitution.

“Only then the dignity of her office will be saved. Tamil Nadu people are compassionate and patriotic,” Stalin was quoted by PTI as saying.

Condemning the remarks by Bedi, Stalin led his party members in staging a walkout. Comments made by him and Law Minister C V Shanmugam on the issue were expunged by the Chair.

“If political parties were criticised by her, it could have been tolerated but her remarks were against the people, he said, adding the comments were “uncivilised and insulted the people of Tamil Nadu. The Puducherry Lt Governor’s comments are condemnable. We will not accept it for any reason, we have staged a walkout condemning it,” he said.

After this, the Puducherry Lieutenant Governor said she shared only the people’s perception. “It is not my personal view and hence there is nothing personal in the message,” PTI quoted Bedi as saying.

On the other hand, the ruling AIADMK in the state lashed out at Bedi for her comments, saying it did not befit her office. “The Centre itself has admitted that half of Indian districts were suffering from water shortage… Chennai has received 62 per cent less rain last year compared to 2017,” party’s literary wing secretary and former minister B Valarmathi said in a statement.

She also said, “Despite the four reservoirs supplying water to Chennai drying up, the government was providing 525 million litre a day (mld), which was 75 mld more than what was being supplied in 2017.”

“It is condemnable that the Puducherry Lt Governor has made some callous remarks not knowing these (or) by ignoring these facts. ….. It does not befit the post she holds. She should not shirk her responsibility of ensuring the rightful share of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Cauvery river and she should confine herself to the job entrusted to her and maintain dignity,” she added as reported by PTI.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK party unit in Puducherry said they would urge the Centre to take action against Bedi.

Both the AIADMK and DMK in the Union territory have announced protests against her. Asking Bedi to withdraw her remarks, the AIADMK said it will hold protests, while the DMK said it will organise a “lay siege to Raj Nivas,” protest tomorrow.

(With PTI inputs)

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