BJP today said only the Lt Governor is the competent authority in the Union Territory to transfer or replace a Puducherry Civil Service Officer and charged the ruling Congress with ‘victimising honest officers’. Referring to the replacement of Puducherry Municipal Commissioner R Chandrasekaran and keeping him in compulsory wait, party’s local unit president V Saminathan said in a release that it ‘showed how insecure are honest officers in the Puducherry administration.’
The March 30 order by Chief Secretary Manoj Parida was in violation of constitutional provisions and also statutory procedures relating to Union Territory administration,he said.
the Lt Governor is the competent authority in the Union Territory to transfer or replace a Puducherry Civil Service Officer, he said, adding the Chief Secretary should act only as per directives of the Lt Governor.
Lt Governor Kiran Bedi had yesterday termed as invalid the Puducherry government replacing Chandrasekaran and that the order was issued without due approval by the competent authority, as mandated under the rules.
She had earlier in a communication to her Secretary stated that “Lt Governor is the competent authority on matters relating to services of the government officers.”
Ruling Congress and opposition MLAs had on March 30 demanded that the Centre recall Bedi for “disrespecting” the government, MLAs and delaying development works.
Chandrasekaran was replaced,in compliance with the ruling given that day by the Speaker V Vaithilingam.
The MLAs had sought action against Chandrasekar, who they alleged was acting on Bedi’s “directives” to “disrespect” them and the government.
They had said that he had recently held a meeting with members of Self Help Groups in Mudaliarpet without informing AIADMK’s A Baskar, the local MLA.
The members said he had also lodged a police complaint against Baskar after he raised questions about the meeting.
The MLA has approached the Privileges Committee seeking action against Chandrasekar for holding the meeting without informing him.
The Speaker had then directed the government to replace the Commissioner and keep him under compulsory wait till the privilege issue was disposed off. Bedi, who assumed office in May last year, has been at loggerheads with the governments since then, irked by ‘lack of cooperation’ to her Clean Puducherry mission. She had even threatened to quit her post and leave the Union Territory if there was no improvement in the situation. Bedi has been making week-end visits as part of the Swachh Puducherry Mission after she assumed office.