Narayanasamy meets Prez; seeks recall of Pondy Lt Governor

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday met President Ram Nath Kovind here and urged him to recall Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for her alleged interference in the administration in the union territory.

Besides, he also flagged her 'impeding' the implementation of various proposals of the elected government.

The chief minister, who has been at odds with Bedi over a number of issues concerning the UT for long, told PTI he had presented a memorandum containing the various schemes allegedly impeded by Bedi.

He had a half an hour meeting with the President.

Narayansamy also handed over to Kovind the signatures collected from the public by the ruling Congress led Secular Democratic Alliance during the last few weeks requesting the Centre to replace Bedi.

The chief minister said he was accompanied by the Lok Sabha member from Puducherry V Vaithilingam and his cabinet colleagues M Kandasamy and Malladi Krishna Rao.

He said among other things, he had brought to the notice of the President the 'interference' by the LG in the implementation of the free rice scheme as decided by his government.

'The proposal of the government to introduce 10 percent quota for students from government schools and holding NEET certificates intending to do medical education had also been facing hurdles as the Lt Governor to whom the proposal was sent had forwarded it to the Centre', he said.

Addressing reporters after meeting Kovind, Narayanasamy said he had submitted to the President the documents containing one lakh signatures collected from the people by the ruling dispensation for the recall of Bedi.

The Lt Governor had issued 'arbitrary' orders to close the government owned AFT mill, Swadeshi Cotton mills and Bharathi Mill in the union territory, he added.

The territorial government was facing difficulty in disposing off the land belonging to the AFT mill there as it intended to use the sale proceeds to pay the workers there.

'The Lt Governor had also declined to bring down the Covid Tax (imposed on liquor products) and the government felt for the need for the reduction in the tax as the incidence of the pandemic had fallen in Puducherry', the CM added.

He also said he had apprised the President of the hardships faced by the people because of the continuation of the barricades in a radius of 500 metres from Raj nivas (office cum residence of Lt Governor).

'People are not able to move about following the deployment of Central reserve police forces although normalcy had returned here', he said.

The security there was earlier stepped up in the wake of a dharna undertaken by the ruling party against Bedi in the wake of her consistent face-off with the government.

The SDA had staged a four day agitation in the UT from January 8, demanding recall of Bedi, besides going on a day-long hunger strike on February 5 on the issue.

Bedi, a former IPS officer, and Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads over various issues ever since she was appointed the Lt Governor in May 2016, with the ruling Congress accusing her of going against the decisions of the government.

The Congress had in December, 2019 written to President Kovind seeking the recall of Bedi, who has maintained that being the Administrator of the Union Territory she was only discharging her duties as per law. PTI COR SA ROH ROH