Pondy CM challenges Bedi to prove land-grab charges against him

(Eds: Adds Bedi's reax) Puducherry, Jan 16 (PTI) Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday challenged Lt Governor Kiran Bedi to prove the land-grabbing allegations made by a rebel Congress legislator against him.

Slamming Bedi for making public the allegations against him and his son by suspended Congress MLA N Dhanavelou, the Chief Minister told reporters here it was 'shocking' that she came out with a press statement on the issue without ascertaining their veracity.

He also said the Lt Governor should verify the genuineness of the charges before issuing the press release.

Hitting back at the Chief Minister, Bedi said he should challenge MLA Dhanavelou for making the charges instead of wasting energy on her.

The former IPS officer in a whatsapp message to Narayanasamy said,'the Chief Minister needs to counter the allegations made by his own party man who according to media reports has been suspended temporarily today instead of challenging me.' She advised Narayanasamy to challenge his own party MLA, who has been making the allegations against him.

Bedi, who has been at loggerheads with the Chief Minister ever since she assumed office in 2016, also said she has advised Dhanavelou to hand over the evidences to the CBI exclusively dedicated to the Union Territory.

She pointed out in no uncertain terms in her message that challenging her was only a 'verbal tirade and is misdirected'.

Bedi also told Narayanasamy that he could as well counter the allegations before CBI if the investigating agency so probed the matter.

Suggesting to the Chief Minister to convene a special session of the territorial Assembly, she said Narayanasamy could ask the MLA to make the allegation on the floor of the House and then make his statement.

'DO not waste your energy on me. You should challenge the one who challenges you. I have already told your party MLA to go to CBI.

We will await their investigation and facilitate their enquiry if they seek help. We are duty bond to assist the investigation agencies,' she stated in her message.

Dhanavelou has been suspended from the Congress as per the recommendation of the high command following a complaint from the Chief Minister, during his visit to Delhi recently, that the rebel MLA has been indulging in 'anti party activities'.

The Congress in Puducherry said a show cause notice was being sent to Dhanavelou seeking his reply for his revolt against the government, in a week's time. PTI COR ROH ROH