Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy continued his dharna outside the Raj Nivas for the third day on Friday in protest against Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi’s “negative stand” towards his government’s proposals that need clearance, PTI reported.
Narayanasamy, his Cabinet colleagues, and legislators from the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam continued their protest outside Bedi’s residence. A large number of Rapid Action Force personnel have also been deployed at the site.
Bedi has called for a meeting with Narayanasamy at the Raj Nivas on February 21. “There is absolutely no need for any such meeting,” said the chief minister. “We have placed before her all our proposals and she is quite aware of them.”
Narayanasamy said the proposals are related to welfare schemes, including distribution of free rice and sanctioning of funds for payment of wages to workers in government undertakings. “In all, 39 proposals were submitted to her for approval,” he said. “Let her at least give her nod to some of the important proposals.”
One of the contentious matters is a helmet rule for motorists. On February 10, Bedi herself took to the streets and instructed people to wear helmets. Around 30,000 people have been booked since February 11 for riding motorcycles without helmets. Narayanasamy, however, wants the rule to be implemented in a phased manner.
However, Narayanasamy told The Indian Express that the helmet rule is a side matter. “She is diverting issues and talking about the helmet rule,” he said. “She has blocked so many crucial files that affects the people and welfare schemes. Out of my 39-charter letter, at least 13 demands are about her blockade of key welfare schemes.”
Bedi on Thursday wrote to Union minister Nitin Gadkari and sought his intervention to “prevent politics in road safety, to save any further loss of life on roads being caused by lack of political will”. She also left for Chennai to fly to New Delhi, and will return to Puducherry on February 20.
Speaker writes to Home Minister
Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam on Friday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, urging him to appoint an interim administrator to bring to an end the “unusual and disturbed situation”.
Vaithilingam asked Singh to “either depute a responsible representative of the Home Ministry at appropriate level to Puducherry to resolve the issue now prevailing in the Union Territory or consider appointing an interim administrator who can handle the situation in the interest of the welfare of people here”.
Vaithilingam claimed that Bedi was unnecessarily interfering in the day-to-day functioning of the administration, leading to several problems.