With the Madras High Court ruling that Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi “cannot interfere” in the day-to-day affairs of Puducherry’s elected government and that the Lt Governor is bound by the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers in matters which rest with the Legislature, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday demanded that she must resign taking moral responsibility.
The Congress government in Puducherry and the Lt Governor had been at loggerheads for long. Narayanasamy had in the past made several trips to Delhi and had even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to complain against Bedi. Narayanasamy said Bedi had been interfering in the day-to-day administration of the government from the beginning.
“She was calling officers to her residence for review meetings without the knowledge of the Chief Minister and Ministers. She was going for inspections without even the officers knowing that she is going; she was calling the Heads of the Departments for conducting tests and she was passing orders independently by running a parallel government in Puducherry,” he told reporters.
Narayanasamy said he had brought the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister but the response was lukewarm. The Prime Minister has always talked about co-operative federalism but in reality “believes in dictatorship”, he said. He said the state government had been facing administrative problems because the Lt Governor was vetoing the decisions of the Cabinet, not allowing the government to implement policies, programmes and schemes, delaying government decisions and withholding files.
“The administrator has no independent power and moreover in financial matters, administrative matters, appointment of officers…the elected government has full authority to run the government… This is a slap on the face of Modi government and also the administrator Kiran Bedi who has been behaving in an erratic manner, flouting all constitutional norms, denigrating the institution of the administrator and trying to usurp the powers of the elected government,” he said.
He said that developmental efforts, including welfare schemes, had been stalled in the state in the last two and a half years because of the “autocratic, illegal and unconstitutional acts” of Kiran Bedi.
“She is squarely responsible for it and therefore, holding responsibility for the failure and also (taking) the moral responsibility, she should resign from the post of Lt. Governor of Puducherry state,” he said.