Following the Supreme Court verdict on the powers and limits of Lieutenant Governor on Wednesday, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the order applies to the Union territory too and it is time for L-G Kiran Bedi to stop creating hindrance in governance. In Puducherry, a stand-off similar to Delhi between Chief Minister Narayanasamy and L-G Kiran Bedi has been affecting smooth functioning of the government for the past two years.
Narayanasamy said the order proves that whatever he has been writing to the Prime Minister and Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the past two years is true. “Prime Minister never replied to my letters. Home Minister never acted on them. Now the time has come for us to fulfil the projects we promised. We thank the judiciary. L-G Bedi cannot come up with anymore hindrances,” he said.
The Chief Minister said attempts to curtail powers of the elected government in Puducherry will not be allowed. “What all the Supreme Court said in the verdict today applies for Puducherry too. Hereafter, the LG here shouldn’t be calling officials at her office for review meetings, she has to stop it from today. I am the CM for two years now. I was fighting for these rights,” he said.
Narayanasamy warned he would file a contempt petition if the L-G failed to act in accordance with the SC order. “Whoever functions contrary to the judgment now delivered by the apex court would face serious action. I myself would file contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the supreme court verdict,” he said.
Among major issues he faced due to LG Bedi’s style of functioning was the long delay in clearing files, Narayanasamy told The Indian Express. “She had this practice of raising queries at files, and she will do it repeatedly on each file even if the queries were replied once or twice. She used to summon officials too in her office. Hereafter, she may call the concerned secretary or the elected representative if she has a query on files. It is time for her to stop calling officials at the rank of under secretary, joint secretary and head of the departments, in the name of review meetings. The SC verdict is clear on all these aspects,” he said.
Bedi created around 20 WhatsApp groups including top government officials and gave directions to officials in different hierarchical structures. The CM was forced to call a meeting of top officials in July 2016 to remind them to not bypass ministers. L-G Bedi was also outspoken on Twitter about the righteousness of her actions, and in one such tweet tagging the Prime Minister’s Office in January 2017, she had summarily cancelled an order by the Chief Minister barring government officials from using social media for official purposes.