Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy walked out of an event organized by Kiran Bedi.
Chennai: The protracted tussle between the Puducherry government and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi took an ugly turn on Sunday when Chief Minister V Narayanasamy walked out of a function organized for Republic Day.
Saying that he had not been informed earlier, Mr Narayanasamy refused to honor two recipients of the Padma awards from the union territory with shawls at the At Home function at Raj Nivas, the Lieutenant Governor’s residence.
Calling it a breach of procedure, the Congress leader has demanded an apology from Kiran Bedi.
The former BJP leader, meanwhile, accused the Chief Minister of disrespecting the Padma awards – author Manoj Das and terracotta artist VK Munusamy Krishnapakthar – and said Mr Narayanasamy shouted and argued with a government official.
) We invited both the Awardsees so that Puducherrians get an immediate opportunity to greet these national heroes. Both the Padma Awardsees were gracious to attend even at such short notice. Once present in the audience our Comptroller Raj Nivas Asha Gupta considered it respectful to recognize the presence of the Padma Awardsees by requesting the Chief Minister to present a shawl to them, “Ms Bedi said in a statement on Monday.
“She thought it would be befitting the occasion that the HCM does the honors. The Honorable Chief Minister instead of welcoming this offer, in the presence of Mr Munisamy, the terracotta Padma Awardee shouted back and argued back, saying “how can it be done without his prior intimation and prior approval?” There was a great deal of embarrassment. This was right in the presence of select invitees and all the senior officers of the administration, “she added, demanding that the Chief Minister apologise.
The Puducherry government and Ms Bedi have been at loggerheads since the latter assumed office in 2016. Mr Narayanasamy and the Congress have accused her of delaying clearance to welfare schemes, bypassing the elected government and interfering in the administration.
Last year, the Madras High Court restricted the Lieutenant Governor’s authority to act independently of the elected government in the Union Territory, saying that in matters of finance, administration and service, Ms Bedi could only act on the advice of the council of ministers.