Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin on Saturday condemned the appointment of three MLAs into the Puducherry Legislative Assembly by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi. He said Bedi was “indulging in actions that blatantly disregard the democratically elected government”.

Stalin said Bedi’s decision to choose to be “a puppet in the hands of the central government is morally reprehensible, tarnishes the honour of the Constitution, while at the same time, mocks at the idea of cooperative federalism on which Indian union is built.”

On July 4, the lieutenant governor had administered the oath of office to BJP’s Puducherry chief V Saminathan, party treasurer KG Shankar and pro-BJP educationist S Selvaganapathy. The move was highly criticised as it is usually the Speaker who appoints lawmakers. “Though one of the nominated legislators has criminal cases, it has not deterred the Lt Governor from administering oath secretly,” Stalin said in his statement.

State autonomy

Batting for state autonomy, Stalin said the BJP government at the Centre had “seized every authority of the states in the name of One Nation, One Tax [GST]”. “The status of states is fast reducing to corporations and even worse, say to municipalities through these routine interventions and systematic erosion of the state rights,” he added.

He accused the Centre of using of the office of governors and lieutenant governors “as a tool to manipulate circumstances in states which is ruled by Opposition”. He said such actions were shameful. “The act of decimating administrative infrastructure in the states by regularly intervening with the functioning makes one wonder, if they are really interested in the well-being of this nation,” added Stalin.

He also reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that when the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat, he had waged a “persistent struggle” to change the governor of the state. “It is indeed a agony to note that, the stance taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is antithetical to the stance he adopted when he was the chief minister.”