Puducherry, Apr 2 (PTI) Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today endorsed the ruling of the Assembly Speaker over the replacement of a top civic official, an issue over which Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has locked horns with the government.
Terming as “invalid” the replacement of Puducherry Municipal Commissioner R Chandrasekaran based on a ruling of Speaker V Vaithilingam on March 30, Bedi had said she was the “competent authority” regarding officials’ service matters.
The Speaker had ordered the replacement of the Commissioner after an opposition AIADMK (Amma) MLA raised a Privilege issue against him.
Addressing reporters here, Narayanasamy said the Speaker’s ruling was implemented immediately by him as Chief Minister, in keeping with the rules governing the Union Territory administration.
“The ruling of the Speaker is final and is in total agreement with the provisions of Rule 312 of the Business Rules of the Assembly. The ruling cannot be changed by any other source,” he said.
Narayanasamy said that if the ruling of the Speaker “is not not enforced, me and my team of Ministers will be accused of dishonouring the ruling of the Chair. We will face a privilege issue and also face serious punitive action including imprisonment.”
The Chief Minister said he had also written a detailed letter to the Lt Governor about “the full proceedings on the floor of the House on March 30 relating to the debate on the Commissioner, the ruling of the Speaker and its immediate implementation.”
He said he had also simultaneously apprised the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister about the Speaker’s ruling and its implementation.
Narayanasamy said the rules relating to administration clearly stated that the Chief Minister had full statutory powers to issue orders to keep an officer under compulsory wait or to assign additional charge of a post to another officer.
He further said there were statutory provisions which stated that “the Lt Governor should consult with the Chief Minister before issuing administrative orders or taking any decision as is required under the Business Rules of the Administration.”
The Chief Minister contended that his Ministry was functioning as per provisions of the Rules. Similarly, officials including the Chief Secretary were all discharging their duties in keeping with the statutory provisions.
Bedi, who was away when the Speaker’s ruling was given, had on March 31 said the order replacing the official had been issued without due approval by the competent authority as mandated under the rules.
The BJP leader, who assumed office of the Lt Governor in May last year, has been at loggerheads with the government on certain issues including “lack of cooperation” to her Clean Puducherry mission.
She had even threatened to quit and leave the Union Territory if there was no improvement in the situation.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.