PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao on Tuesday threatened to resign over the style of functioning of Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Rao said that Bedi had overruled the decisions taken in the public interest by the elected government.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Rao said eight youths from Yanam region of Puducherry working in Hyderabad, Odisha and Puttaparthy reached the Yanam border after walking for several days following the COVID-19 lockdown. However, the Yanam administration which had sealed the border with Andhra Pradesh did not allow them to enter.
Even after his and the Chief Minister’s intervention, they were not allowed and now they are facing hardships at the border for two days, he said. Stating that this was inhumanitarian, Rao said they could be quarantined on entry in any of the quarantine facilities available in Yanam.
He said that if they were not allowed into Yanam within 24 hours, he will quit as minister as he is not able to help people of his constituency despite being a minister. Rao said officials are following the directions of the Lt. Governor and not implementing the orders of the elected government.
This has also resulted in a delay in COVID-19 assistance of rice reaching the BPL people, who are still waiting, while distribution of pulses is yet to begin, said Rao. It is not known when poor people holding yellow card holders will get the rice. It is painful to see people suffering, which is not visualized by the Lt Governor who remains confined to Raj Nivas, he said.
“I have been working for not less than 18 hours a day to ensure that no section of people in the Union Territory faced any hardships during the current lockdown,” said Rao. But I am unable to do what is required for the people as officials are not going by the decisions taken by the elected government in reaching government assistance to the poor, he said. He also regretted that the old age pension to fishermen has not been disbursed for three months due to decisions taken by the Lt Governor.