A Puducherry Minister Friday lavished wholesome praise on Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for her performance, in contrast to the persistent attack on her by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and the ruling Congress over her style of functioning.
Springing a surprise at a government function in which Ms Bedi was the chief guest, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy lauded her efforts and said all should cooperate with her in improving the lot of the people of the union territory.
"Bedi has been dedicating herself in ensuring that Puducherry emerged as a cleanest Union Territory. Files placed before her for approval had been cleared fast whether they are related to free rice scheme or garments for the poor," he said.
Ms Bedi, a former IPS officer, has been at loggerheads with the government on various issues and Mr Narayanasamy and the Congress have accused her of delaying clearance to welfare schemes, bypassing the elected government and criticised her weekly field visits.
Congress and its ally DMK had even demanded Ms Bedi's recall while Mr Narayansamy in May this year sought her resignation after the Centre gave its approval to waiver of crop loans taken from cooperative societies "overruling" her objections.
Presiding over a seminar on "Poshan Abhiyan", which aims to bridge the nutrition gap and reduce stunting of children,
Mr Kandasamy also hailed Ms Bedi's initiatives in desilting tanks and water bodies .
Ms Bedi, speaking on the occasion, said, "Puducherry is a strong welfare-oriented Union Territory and anganwadi workers are the biggest strength."
The Department of Women and Child Development, which organised the seminar, spends annually around Rs 480 crore for various welfare projects and payment of monthly assistance to the aged people accounted for a big chunk of the expenditure involving disbursement of Rs 325 crore.
"This is a large investment in a small Union Territory," she said, asking the personnel of the anganwadi centres to function with a feeling of 'sisterhood and neighbourliness.'
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