Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy on Monday called upon Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi to step down from office as the Centre had allegedly brushed aside her recommendations on certain important issues and approved the decisions of the elected government here.
Addressing reporters, the Chief Minister, who has been at loggerheads with the Lieutenant Governor on various administrative issues ever since she assumed office in 2016, said, “The decisions taken by the government to waive loans due from farmers, raise the age-limit from 22 to 24 for recruitment to posts of police constables, setting up of statutory bodies like boards and corporations and also to take action against a school headmaster for irregularity in attendance were rejected by Bedi.”
“She (Bedi) forwarded these decisions to the Centre for its clarification and decisions,” the Chief Minister said.
“The Centre had rejected the Lieutenant Governor`s negative stand and our stand on these issues was approved by the Centre,” he said.
Narayanasamy further said the Centre had also approved of ‘my granting of marks to the senior officers including the then Chief Secretary Manoj Parida and Secretaries P Jawhar and P Anbarasu” under the Annual Confidential Report.
“The Lieutenant Governor had reduced the marks sanctioned by me under the report for these officers, but the Centre upheld the marks I gave to these officers rejecting Kiran Bedi`s slashing the grades,” he said.
All this clearly showed that Bedi had lost the Centre`s faith in her and hence ‘owning moral responsibility’ she should quit office as ‘she has no authority or powers to run a parallel government and take a stand contrary’ to the decisions of the elected government.
“I leave it to her conscience and she must quit office as she has been snubbed by the Centre for discarding government`s decisions,” he said.
Narayanasamy charged the Lt Governor with scolding and intimidating officers during the meetings she holds with them and asks the officers to take action and report to her on the implementation of her decisions.
He said this was a clear violation of the order of the Madras High court given in April this year in a writ petition filed in the court.
The court had clearly stated that the Lieutenant Governor should not intervene in the routine administration or governance of the Puducherry administration.
He said he was also aghast at the Lieutenant Governor holding a meeting of police officers and beat officers of the police department on Saturday in the Pondicherry University “without my knowledge as there was no formal communication to me about the meeting.”
“I wish that the Lieutenant Governor abstained from causing mental torture to the officers and extended her cooperation for the smooth governance,” the Chief Minister said.
Asked if he would write to the Centre seeking replacement of Kiran Bedi as Lieutenant Governor in view of her alleged non-cooperative stance, the Chief Minister said, “I have written a good number of letters to the Centre already highlighting the difficulties caused by the former IPS officer.”
He also had a dig at the Centre for delaying sanction of the compensation to Puducherry government for the loss arising out of the implementation of the GST.
Narayanasamy had earlier held a video conference with his counterparts in Kerala, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chhatisgarh and Delhi on the strategy to be adopted to urge the Union Finance Minister to expedite sanction of compensation for these states for losses caused by GST.
`We will press the Central Minister at the forthcoming meeting of the GST council in Delhi on December 18 to make out our case for speedy clearance of the amount,” he said.
The Centre owed Rs 380 crore for the four months from April under GST compensation, he added.
He took strong exception also to the ‘silence’ the NDA government was maintaining in spite of agitations and violence against Citizenship Amendment Act in states like West Bengal, Delhi, Meghalaya, Assam and Tripura.
The Centre should break its silence and ensure that peace is not disturbed anywhere, he said.
The President Ram Nath Kovind would be on a visit to Puducherry on December 23 to attend the annual convocation in Pondicherry University.
The Chief Minister said the President was also likely to visit Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram and the famous shrine of Lord Saneeswara in Tirunallar on December 24.
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