Telangana Guv Tamilisai Soundararajan sworn in as Puducherry

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LG, says she will function as a 'people's Governor' Eds: Adds quotes, recasts Puducherry,Feb 18 (PTI) Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Thusday assumed additional charge of the union territory of Puducherry and said she will function as a 'people's Governor' and according to the Constitution.

She said she had not come to Puducherry with any ulterior motive but to serve the people.

The fifth woman to be appointed Lt Governor of the Union Territory, Soundararajan was sworn in at a simple function at the Raj Nivas where she took oath in Tamil.

She succceeds Kiran Bedi.

Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Sanjib Banerjee administered the oath of office to Soundararajan, who hails from nearby Tamil Nadu.

Later, addressing reporters, she said 'I know what are the powers of a Governor, powers of Lt Governor and Chief Minister, of elected members and officers.' She would function as a 'people's governor.' 'There would be no obstacles between me and the people. I will peruse every issue thoroughly and serve the people,' Soundararajan said.

The new Lt Governor said she was glad she had been given the opportunity to serve the people of Puducherry and would address their concerns.

In a sudden development on Tuesday, Bedi was removed as Lt Governor of Puducherry, with President Ram Nath Kovind giving additional charge of the UT to the Telangana governor 'with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office, until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant- Governor of Puducherry are made'.

Soundararajan's taking charge comes at a time when the ruling Congress-led government has lost its majority after one more party MLA quit the party on Tuesday, the total number being four.

When her attention was drawn towards the opposition plea with the LG's office on Wednesday seeking direction to the CM to prove majority on the floor of the House in the wake of the ruling party's depleted strength, Soundararajan said, 'I am aware of this...' '...I will go through the representation thoroughly in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution, she said, adding, she would 'hold the scales even.' Puducherry Assembly Speaker V P Sivakolundhu, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Ministers, Leader of the opposition N Rangasamy, former PWD Minister A Namassivayam (now in BJP) and officials of UT administration were among those present at the swearing-in ceremony today.

Later, the Lt Governor was presented a guard of honour by the Puducherry police outside Raj Nivas.

Tamilisai Soundararajan is the fifth woman to hold the post of Lt Governor of Puducherry, the others being Chandrawati, Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, Rajani Rai and Bedi.

She was given additional charge of Puducherry after Bedi, a former IPS officer, was removed in the face of her being at odds with the ruling dispensation over a host of issues, with Narayanasamy petitioning Kovind recently demanding her recall, alleging she interfered in the administration.

The Congress party had been demanding her recall for long.

After assuming charge, Soundararajan said she had signed two important files--one on providing financial assistance to the Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes and the other pertaining to aid under AIDS Control programme.

On the COVID front, she said the response to the vaccination against the contagion in Puducherry--for Health and frontline workers- was not up to the mark.

'This pains me and I would appeal to all to get vaccinated,' Soundararajan, a medical doctor, said.

She appealed to the people here to adhere to safety protocols to keep COVID-19 at bay.

She said she would take the COVID jab as one among the citizens. 'I do not want to jump the queue,' Soundararajan added. PTI COR SA BN BN BN