A day after the Madras High Court held that Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi "cannot interfere" in the day-to-day affairs of the Union Territory's government, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy demanded that she should resign from her post for "stalling" development activities.
Mr Narayanasamy said he brought Ms Bedi's interference to the notice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, but to no avail.
"The prime minister always talks about co-operative federalism, but believes in dictatorship," he said.
The elected government has to run the day-to-day administration of the Union territory and the administrator has no power to interfere in the running of the government, the chief minister asserted at a press conference in New Delhi.
Allowing a petition filed by Congress MLA K Laksminarayanan, Justice R Mahadevan set aside the two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs "elevating" the power of the administrator.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgment on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the judge said the restrictions imposed on the Delhi government were not applicable to the government of Puducherry.
Though Puducherry is not a state, the Legislative Assembly will have the same powers as that of a state, he said.
"This is a historic judgment. This is a slap on the face of the Narendra Modi government and also the administrator, Kiran Bedi, who has been behaving in an erratic manner flouting all constitutional norms, denigrating the institution of the administrator and trying to usurp the powers of the elected government," Mr Narayanasamy said.
"I am thankful to the judge, because for the last two to two-and-a-half years, due to the autocratic, illegal, unconstitutional acts of Kiran Bedi, the development activities had been stalled," the Congress leader said.
Ms Bedi was responsible for this and taking moral responsibility, she should resign from the post of Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, he asserted.