PUDUCHERRY/NEW DELHI: The controversy over the nomination of three MLAs in Puducherry snowballed on Thursday with the Congress party attacking the decision as unconstitutional and state Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi defending it strongly.
The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said in New Delhi that Bedi has been at loggerheads with Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and the elected Congress government from the beginning.
He said the appointment of three MLAs -- V. Saminathan, President of the Puducherry BJP unit, party Treasurer K.G. Shankar and educationist S. Selva Ganapathy -- has been done without consulting the Chief Minister.
Even in Parliament the President nominates members on the basis of the recommendation by the central government, he said.
Bedi took to Twitter to justify her action and cited provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 in this regard.
"Here is the Law under which 3 MLAs were nominated by GOI (Government of India) and I as an LG (Lt. Governor) administered the Oath," Bedi said in a tweet.
One of the provisions cited by her said that three members can take oath before the LG or a person appointed by him/her for the purpose.
"Since when is application of Law a 'murder of democracy'?
"See the law. Central government has the power to Nominate and LG has the power of oath giving..!," Bedi added.
"I am an agent of law, I am working according to that. Cabinet came to me asking why are you meeting people? Why solving civic problems? They said you are supposed to be a rubber stamp," she told reporters.