PUDUCHERRY : In a new twist to the tussle between the Congress government in Puducherry and BJP government at the Centre over the nomination of BJP members to the Legislative Assembly, Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday said that she had given approval for the Appropriation Bill-2018 to be introduced and passed in the territorial Assembly with the condition that the nominated MLAs be allowed to participate in the Assembly proceedings.
Bedi, in a press communication, said the Lt Governor’s office had received the communication regarding the orders of the Supreme Court “to allow the three nominated members to function as such and attend the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly”.“I have accordingly approved the Appropriation Bill and recommended an introduction to the Legislative Assembly for its consideration with the condition to comply with the interim orders of the Supreme Court. Accordingly, also requested the reconvening of the Assembly to transact this important financial business by allowing the three nominated MLAs to participate,” she said.
The Budget session of the Assembly has adjourned sine die without passing the Appropriation Bill, as Bedi had not given her approval and the session had concluded ahead of schedule, before the Supreme Court hearing in the nominated MLAs’ case on July 19. The House will have to be reconvened to pass the Bill, authorising the government to draw finances for expenditure, on which depends payment of salary and pension of its employees. The Bill is likely to reach the Speaker by Monday.
While Speaker V Vaithilingam was not available for comment, K Lakshminarayanan, Parliamentary Secretary, to the Chief Minister and AIADMK legislative party leader A Anbazhagan asked what connection the Bill had to the order on nominated MLAs. While Lakshminarayanan said the approval of the Bill could not be tied to the order, Anbazhagan asked Bedi whether the SC had set such a condition in its order. “How can the Lt Governor impose conditions on the Assembly in exercising its constitutional and prerogative powers of passing the Appropriation Bill? An outsider to the House cannot impose conditions,” he said.