After Tussle With Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Seeks To Rein In Lt Governor

At the heart of the power tussle that started after Ms Bedi's appointment as the Union Territory's Lt Governor last year is a dispute over who gets the first and last word in running the affairs of the union territory: Chief Minister Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy or the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.

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After Tussle With Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Seeks To Rein In Lt Governor

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The Puducherry assembly passed a resolution to curtail the powers of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. (File photo)

Puducherry:  Escalating the ongoing power struggle between the Puducherry government and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, the state assembly on Friday adopted a resolution to amend the law to curtail the powers of the Lieutenant Governor for good. The resolution isn't binding on the central government, certainly not parliament. But it is a clear indication about the breakdown of relations between the V Narayanasamy government and Kiran Bedi. At the heart of the power tussle that started after Ms Bedi's appointment as the Union Territory's Lt Governor last year is a dispute over who gets the first and last word in running the affairs of the union territory: Chief Minister or the Lt Governor.

This time, the flashpoint was Ms Bedi 's intervention to fill in the government quota rather than let colleges divert these seats to the management quota. Earlier this month, the Chief Minister accused Ms Bedi of paralysing  the elected government and dared her to prove allegations against legislators or quit.

Soon after she walked into Raj Niwas, Ms Bedi had pulled out the rule-book to insist that she shouldn't be expected to be a "rubber stamp" but promised to play an active role in the administration of the union territory. Chief Minister Narayanasamy had then contested her interpretation of the rules, reminding her that an elected government was in place.

In many ways, it was a re-run of the tug-of-war between the Aam Aadmi Party government and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in the national capital, Delhi.

In January, the Congress and DMK legislators demanded that the Centre recall the former Indian Police Service officer, accusing her having a "dictatorial" style of functioning which bypassed the elected legislature.

Friday's assembly resolution to amend the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 that would require approval from parliament suggests that the Congress and the DMK legislators weren't looking at a quick fix solution.

Officials hint that the Congress government could have campaigned for changing the business rules that Ms Bedi had cited which could, in theory, have been done by the executive at the Union Home Ministry. Instead, it chose to call for an amendment to the 1963 law enacted by parliament.

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