Kiran Bedi exits Puducherry L-G office sending a last message
Kiran Bedi thanked the government for a “lifetime experience” as the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry after she was removed from the top post last night amid a crisis in the ruling Congress government in the union territory. The Congress government has slipped into a minority after four Congress leaders resigned from the Assembly since last month.
Thank all those who were a part my journey as Lt Governor of Puducherry—
The People of Puducherry and all the Public officials. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ckvwJ694qq
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) February 17, 2021
Bedi’s removal comes at a time when the ruling Congress government has lost its majority after four of its MLAs resigned from the Assembly.
The ruling Congress-DMK alliance and the opposition AIADMK-BJP alliance now have 14 MLAs each in the House that has a current effective strength of 28. While the Opposition demanded the government’s resignation on Tuesday, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said he retained majority support.
The notice for Kiran Bedi’s withdrawal as Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry is seen as a political move by the BJP to negate their rivals’ primary campaign platform and further weaken them ahead of the upcoming assembly election.
The removal of L-G Bedi, the Chief Minister said, was “a long pending demand of the Puducherry people”. Bedi, he said, “was behaving in an autocratic manner, violating the rules of business, trying to run a parallel government, (and) issuing independent orders against the wishes of the elected government…”.
The Centre, he said, had “woken up now”, with only weeks to go before Assembly elections. “I do not know whether it was done because of elections. (But) whatever damage has to be done, she has done. It cannot be rectified. The people of Puducherry will remember it and it will be fresh in their memory,” Narayanasamy said.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been asked to discharge functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, until a new appointment is made. Ms Bedi was functioning as Lieutenant-Governor till late Tuesday evening and reviewing the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the union territory and issuing directions for bringing in the police force and sanitation workers in the frontline worker category for the inoculation.
With Kiran Bedi removed, President Ram Nath Kovind gave the additional charge of Puducherry to Telengana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan “with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry are made”.