PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Saturday took strong exception to the appointment of a retired government official as consultant cum Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Lt Governor Kiran Bedi by the latter, in 'violation' of rules.
Addressing reporters here, the Chief Minister, who has been at loggerheads with Bedi on various issues said former Secretary to the Lt Governor, G Theva Needhi Das retired on June 30 this year following which the former IPS officer had sought the Centre's permission to appoint him as her 'adviser.
Though the Union Home Ministry accorded permission to appoint Das as a 'consultant,' the Lt Governor 'violated' the instructions and nominated him as 'consultant cum Officer on Special Duty' in Raj Nivas, Narayanasamy alleged.
Claiming that the appointment was made in violation of the Home Ministry's directions, he said, "the matter was taken up with the Ministry.'
A 'consultant' does not have powers or authority to peruse the official files or hold meetings with officers and attend meetings convened by the Lt Governor, he contended.
The Chief Minister also claimed that although he had written letters to Bedi on the matter, he has not received any reply so far.
Further, he alleged that there was "misuse of power" and authority by the Lt Governor's office in raising funds under corporate social responsibility (CSR) from private companies and institutions for desilting channels and other water bodies in Puducherry since the last few weeks.
"There should be no misuse of powers by Lt Governor and her office cannot contact companies and others for contributions under CSR," Narayansamy added.
Reacting to the allegations, the former IPS officer said, "Raj Nivas is only a facilitator and we do not receive any funds straight from the donors. Those contributing funds under CSR had the direct link with the owners of the earth movers or excavators and industrial houses."
"We are not receiving any funds the contributions were made voluntarily for the cause of enriching the water resources in villages," she added.
On the appointment of the retired official as OSD cum consultant, Bedi said Das was engaged in the post with the prior approval of the Union Home Ministry and also with the concurrence of Department of Finance of territorial government.
The officer is discharging responsibilities "as per assignments given by Lt Governor," she maintained.
The Lt Governor is the "competent authority in service matters under the provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act 1963 and the Rules of Business of Puducherry government 1963," she noted.