- Puducherry lieutenant governor said villages must be open defecation free
- Had linked free rations, dialysis at hospitals to the cleanliness drive
- Provoked opposition attacks which calls the order 'dictatorial'
The controversial order came months after a UN sanitation expert Leo Heller had taken a dim view of such attempts to arm-twist people, saying the Swachh Bharat mission's "open defecation free" programme should not be "human rights free".
Ms Bedi told the administration that community leaders in rural areas were vociferous and proactive to seek better facilities from the government but did not show the same enthusiasm for the sanitation campaigns under the Swachh Bharat programme.
The inspiration for the directive came during Ms Bedi's visit to a village this morning. She thought the village was too filthy and decided to crack the whip.
"The hospital wants machines. You want free rice, old age pension, widow pension... You want everything but you can't keep your village clean, which you have to do," she rebuked the villagers at a small function.
The ultimatum came soon after.
Linked Free Rice distribution to respective constituency MLAs & Commune Commisioners Certifying villages open defecation free and of strewn garbage and plastic.- Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) April 28, 2018
Free Rice reaches out to more than half d population primarily in rural areas
This is d learning of morning round today pic.twitter.com/CCIaVAGdDT
"If you want dialysis machine (at local state-run hospital), clean up your village. You want free rice, clean up your village... Men, women children, everyone clean up your village. "(You have) one month's time. It will be given to you only on the condition that the village is clean," Ms Bedi said.
She later extended the condition, and deadline to all villages in the union territory.
On social media, she released video clips from her visit to the village. She called the decision the "learning of morning round today"
The Congress says it is dictatorial and asked PM Narendra Modi to explain if it had his approval.
"Has Modiji told Kiran Bedi to do this? Does Modiji know what Kiran Bedi is doing?... Ordering officials that let people die of hunger but don't given them ration," asked Congress leader Pawan Khera.
Puducherry, like Delhi, is a union territory where the Lt Governor and not the Chief Minister often has the last word on many topics.
Ms Bedi, who was the BJP's presumptive chief minister for the 2015 elections in Delhi, was appointed as the centre's nominee to Puducherry in 2016. Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy often accuses the Lt Governor of exceeding her brief.