V. Narayanasamy cites 13 instances of the ‘obstructionist’ attitude of Kiran Bedi and says her continuance would ‘hamper’ the growth and development of the Union Territory.
Citing 13 instances of the “obstructionist” attitude of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi in ensuring the progress and welfare of people, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, in a memorandum to the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy, said Ms. Bedi’s continuance would “hamper” the growth and development of the Union Territory.
Mr. Narayanasamy, in the eight-page memorandum submitted to the Minister during his one-day visit to Puducherry on January 3, said the blame of hampering the growth and development of the U.T. would be on the Union government.
Listing out the instances of the Lt. Governor’s interference, he said Ms. Bedi, in contravention of the Cabinet decision, ordered the closure of public sector mills. Around 800 acres acquired by the Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation was remaining unutilised due to the “delaying tactics” of the Lt. Governor, he said.
Despite a decision of the Cabinet to delegate powers and specific directions of Centre to redelegate powers to the Chief Minister and Ministers, the Lt. Governor had not taken appropriate action.
“The Lt. Governor has grabbed the entire financial powers of grant-in-aid and even for a thousand rupees, she is insisting that the Finance Department send the file to her. The grant-in-aid salary to PSU employees working in PASIC, PAPSCO, Sugar Mill, AFT, SBTML, Spinning Mill was delayed causing hardship to the employees,” the Chief Minister said.
Mr. Narayanasamy also cited “arbitrary” verification of decisions of Chief Minister and Ministers by the Lt. Governor. Ms. Bedi also referred all matters to the Centre though the subjects were within the powers of U.T. This caused delay in executing projects, he said.
The Chief Minister charged the Lt. Governor with writing letters to the Centre urging that funds already sanctioned be stopped, especially in the tourism sector.
He accused Ms. Bedi of delaying the recruitment process of police constabulary and posts of VA, VAO, LDC and UDC.
Demand for Statehood
Reiterating his demand for Statehood, the Chief Minister said, in a democratic system, the real power should vest with the elected government. The Cabinet and elected representatives were accountable to the people through their collective responsibility to the legislature.
“As a collective entity, the Council of Ministers owes responsibility to the legislature. The relationship between the Council of Ministers and the titular head of State is governed by the over-arching consideration that real power and substantive accountability is vested in the elected representatives,” the Chief Minister said.
The principle of “aid and advice” in a constitutional sense was aimed at strengthening the constitutional value of representative government and of governance accountable and responsive to the electorate.
On one hand, grants from Centre had reduced from 100 % to 30 % because the UT was treated as a State with a legislature.
While in other territories, particularly New Delhi, pension dues were borne by the Centre, Puducherry was not given the privilege. Had Puducherry been given Statehood, the government would have been eligible to receive 41 % as States got as per recommendations of the Finance Commission, he said.
The memorandum also sought inclusion of Puducherry under the ambit of 15th Finance Commission Recommendations, need for increasing Central assistance and payment of GST compensation.
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