Puducherry CM Narayanasamy launches 'peaceful' agitation against LG Bedi as DMK keeps away
The district administration has made tight security arrangements to maintain law and order. The venue of the agitation is being monitored with 20 CCTV cameras, besides video recorded with drones.
PUDUCHERRY: This dharna would be peaceful like the farmers protest in Delhi, said Chief Minister V Narayanasamy as he launched a four-day agitation by the Congress-led Secular Democratic Alliance (SDA) in Puducherry demanding the recall of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for ‘being an impediment in the welfare and development’ of Puducherry.
Though the dharna was announced in front of Raj Nivas, it began near Anna statue on Marimalaiagial Salai, around 1.5 kilometres from Raj Nivas on Friday, following the district administration's ban on agitations within 500 metres of Raj Nivas. After paying respects to various leaders, the Chief Minister came to the venue to commence the agitation.
AICC Secretary Sanjay Dutt, ministers, lone Lok Sabha member V Vaithilingam, MLAs, leaders of CPI, CPM, VCK, MDMK, CPI-ML and other smaller outfits are participating. Ministers MOHF Shajahan and Malladi Krishna Rao sported black shirts, while some partymen and women were also in black as a sign of protest.
DMK boycotts agitation
However, the party's main ally DMK boycotted the agitation. The DMK is treading a different path and would not want to be associated with the agitations led by the Congress. “It is too late in the day and nothing is going to be achieved before the elections,” said a senior DMK functionary.
“We have been suggesting to the Congress government to take several measures for a long time, but no heed was paid. Had it been done earlier, there would have been some benefit. The Congress party does not involve allies in any discussions and taking decisions. It is done unilaterally by the party. So we have decided to abstain from it," said the functionary.
The other parties responded well to the agitation with volunteers gathered in the area from Anna Square to Venkatasubba Reddiar statue -- a stretch of around 500 metres.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister flayed Bedi for all the impediments posed. Listing various instances, he said that her autocratic ways have deprived the people of their rights of welfare and development. Gradually the powers of the democratically elected government are being usurped and she is becoming an autocrat. "We are waging this struggle to persuade Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw Kiran Bedi," he said. While saying that the protest would be peaceful, Narayanasamy said it would remain intense even if there is rain or flooding.
Heavy deployment with Vajra vehicles, CCTV and drone cameras
The district administration has made tight security arrangements for maintenance of law and order. The venue of the agitation is being monitored with 20 CCTV cameras, besides video recorded with drone cameras. Water cannons were stationed near Raj Nivas as well as the venue of the agitation. A Vajra vehicle for firing rubber bullets has also been stationed at the dharna site. Three companies of central armed paramilitary forces (CAPS) have been deployed at the site as well as around Raj Nivas.
Besides, Raj Nivas and its surrounding areas have been barricaded with a three-tier security system. All roads leading to Raj Nivas from Ginger Salai have been barricaded and blocked. Besides, several roads have been blocked for vehicular movement leading to the venue. As a result, there is a lot of congestion on the roads and people are having to take roundabout ways.