Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Sunday said his government is struggling to carry out its routine administration because of hurdles caused by the Centre and Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, PTI reported.
Narayanasamy alleged that the Centre was delaying sanction of grants while the lieutenant governor was returning files without approving the Cabinet’s decisions.
Narayanasamy’s comments came at a time when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government are in a power tussle with the lieutenant governor’s office. The Supreme Court ruled in the case on July 4 that the lieutenant governor is bound by the “aid and advice” of ministers. The real authority to make decisions lies with the elected government, not the lieutenant governor, the court said.
Narayanasamy alleged that his government had to “face several hurdles” even to prepare the territorial budget and to present it at the appropriate time, PTI reported. “The budget presented [in the Puducherry assembly] on July 2 should have been presented in May itself,” Narayanasamy said. “But want of timely release of funds from the Centre and unnecessary movement of files from the Cabinet to the lieutenant governor dislocated the schedule to present the budget on time.”
Naryanasamy was addressing a meeting at the Congress party office in Puducherry on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Kamaraj.
Narayanasamy said it would not be “smooth sailing for the Congress government here” till the Congress comes to power at the Centre. He said the government was firm on implementing the free rice scheme, allocating 16% budgetary funds for welfare of scheduled castes under special component plan and paying monthly assistance to the elderly and widows.
Narayanasamy has often accused Bedi of overstepping her constitutional role in the Union Territory of Puducherry. On April 28, Bedi had issued an order that said distribution of free rice to villagers in the Union territory will be made “conditional to the certification that the village is open defecation free and free of strewn garbage and plastics”. After it triggered criticism from Opposition parties and several people on social media, she suspended it.
A day later, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that governors and and lieutenant governors had been behaving like agents of the Bharatiya Janata Party ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.