PUDUCHERRY: Refuting the claim of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy on Tuesday said that he had informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and obtained political clearance from Ministry of External Affairs before his recent Singapore visit.
Showing documentary evidence at a press conference on Tuesday, Narayanasamy said that he had written to the Prime Minister on October 24 intimating him about his visit as well as that of Industries Minister M O H F Shajahan and MLA and Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC) Chairman R Siva, which was a private one. He had also obtained political clearance from the MEA on October 29 for himself as well as for the other two.
Being a former Union Minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office and other ministries in the Manmohan Singh government and now a constitutional authority, he is well aware of the guidelines to be followed by a minister or parliament member for a visit abroad, he further added.
The Prime Minister was also apprised that they were not availing any government finance for the trip, nor were they getting any free hospitality.
The Chief Minister said that the expenses of travel, accommodation, food and others were solely from their own resources. The Chief Secretary and Director General of Police were also intimated about the overseas travel, said Narayanasamy. The purpose of the three-day private visit to Singapore last week was to attract financers to invest to the union territory. This is to not only to develop Puducherry but also create employment opportunities for the youths of the UT, he said.
He questioned the locus standi of Lt Governor to raise queries about his overseas travel and reminded Bedi that he was also a constitutional authority, after being elected by the people . If anyone has to question, it can only be at the level of Ministry of External affairs or Prime Minister, said Narayanasamy.
Referring to Bedi, he said that those who do not want development are speaking against the efforts of the elected government. A small country like Singapore with a population of 15 lakhs has managed such development and hence he and his colleagues were attempting to bring the expertise to Puducherry and develop it. It is for people to understand who is creating hurdles and standing in the way of development of the UT, said the Chief minister.