Puducherry CM Continues Dharna Outside Lt Guv Kiran Bedi’s House
Narayanaswamy is demanding that Bedi accord sanction for 39 government proposals, including a free rice scheme.
Stepping up the attack on Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy began a dharna with his ministerial colleagues outside Raj Nivas, on Wednesday, 13 February. He is demanding that she accord sanction for 39 government proposals, including a free rice scheme.
Narayanasamy is also demanding that Bedi be recalled as the lieutenant governor of Puducherry.
“She has no power at all, she only has to be a post office and sign papers which have been sent by the council of ministers, she has no right to touch Cabinet decisions but she is vetoing decisions. She is being encouraged by PM to create problems for our government.”V Narayanasamy, Puducherry CM
The chief minister was seen clearing official files at the venue of the agitation.
Congress and DMK MLAs are also participating in the protest outside Raj Nivas, the official office cum residence of the Lt Governor. Sporting black shirts, they sat on the road outside Raj Nivas, protesting against Bedi’s 'negative stand' in rejecting files on various matters sent to her for approval.
The chief minister told PTI that his government took strong exception to the "continued rejection of government proposals to ameliorate the lot of the poor and have-nots".
Narayanasamy said Bedi's recent decision to make helmet-wearing mandatory without generating awareness among two wheeler riders, as proposed by the government, "is a clear case of her going her way and causing harassment to the people.”
Kiran Bedi Calls Protest ‘Unlawful’
The CM's action invited a sharp response from Bedi, who shot off a letter to him, terming his protest as 'unlawful'.
“The CM wrote a letter to me on the 7 February raising certain issues. I received it on 8 February. On 13 February, he comes on a dharna demanding a reply. He gave 36 issues and didn't give a deadline. He never said I'll be coming on a dharna by 14 February if you do not reply. He writes a reply by 7 Feb and then sits on dharna. Is this the right way,” Bedi asked.
“Instead of waiting for my response to your 7 February letter, you have come to Raj Nivas, demanding a reply in this unlawful manner.”Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Lt Governor, in a letter to the CM
"This method (sitting on dharna) is unheard of from a person of your position," the Lt Governor said in the letter, which was hand delivered to the chief minister.
Bedi invited Narayanasamy for a detailed discussion on 21 February at Raj Nivas.
The lieutenant governor said all the issues Narayanasamy had mentioned in his letter needed examination for a 'considered response' and claimed that nothing was pending at the Raj Nivas.
She noted that the chief minister had never said in his letter that he and his colleagues would begin a dharna in front of Raj Nivas unless a reply was obtained by 13 February.
DMK Extends Support
DMK chief MK Stalin, on Thursday, 14 February, spoke to Narayanasamy and extended support to the CM.
Narayanasamy thanked Stalin and said that he is getting support from all over the country.
“I thank MK Stalin who extended his support. We are getting support not only from Tamil Nadu, but all over the country.”V Narayanasamy, Puducherry CM
In another development, the Speaker V Vaithilingam also joined the dharna later on Wednesday evening. Narayanasamy, however, told reporters that the Speaker had come “to felicitate our peaceful protest.”
(With PTI inputs)
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