Puducherry suffers with Chief Minister and Lieutenant-General busy in power & politics row

A look at the major flare-ups between V Narayanasamy and Kiran Bedi since the two were pitted against one another.

Published: 18th June 2017 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2017 11:23 AM   |  A+A-

Medical College Admission

Following complaints from students and parents, Bedi, in her characteristic style, barged into the office of the Centralised Admission Committee, where she found fault with the administration including ministers for not following proper admission procedure and raised charges of corruption. Narayanasamy responded by saying that everything was being done as per guidelines laid down by the Medical Council of India. The chief minister even went to the extent of challenging her to prove the allegations.  Both have taken to Twitter to justify their positions in this latest round of sparring.

Tighter Hold on the Purse Strings

A Lieutenant Governor has a lot of power when it comes to bureaucratic matters, which Bedi realised in her early days as LG. She has been using that ever since, alleged ministers and MLAs, who hold her responsible for the delay in taking up many welfare schemes including the ones promised ahead of polls. These include not allowing the distribution of old age pension at the doorsteps, not clearing the request to float tender to procure rice for free-rice programme, granting only one-fourth of the local area development funds, and insisting that the dredging work at Puducherry harbour be done only by the state-run firm which allegedly led to delays.

Tussle Over Transfer

A Swachch Bharat event became a point of confrontation between the LG and government, after the local MLA from opposition AIADMK complained that he was not invited despite it being mandatory. The MLA entered into an argument with the municipal commissioner, and then raised a breach of privilege complaint with the Speaker, while the official filed a petition with the DGP alleging threat to his life from the MLA. The Speaker referred the matter to Privilege Committee and also directed that the official be put on compulsory wait. The next day, her secretary sent a note to the chief secretary (as directed by Bedi) informing that the transfer order was invalid.

MLA Performance Appraisal

Among all her moves, this was the one that hit local politicians the most. Bedi’s announcement that MLAs will be ranked on the basis of public feedback riled the MLAs no end. After mooting this in a WhatsApp group first, Bedi went public with the decision. The idea was that all from a particular constituency could vote for their MLAs based on performance, which, she calculated, could prod them into undertaking more cleanliness initiatives under Swachch Bharat. This did not go down well with the MLAs; many pointed out how Bedi, despite being projected as the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP, could not even win the election in her home turf.

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