Kiran Bedi was removed as the lieutenant governor of Puducherry, NDTV reported, citing a statement released by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been given additional charge till another person is appointed to the post.
Bedi’s removal came ahead of polls in the Union Territory.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had been demanding Bedi’s removal, saying that she was not allowing the elected government to function by interfering in the day-to-day administration. He had started a sit-in protest in January.
The chief minister had said that the demand to recall Bedi was not a new one, but he hit the streets now as she was overreaching her powers more than ever before.
“She is now returning files, overruling the decision of the Cabinet, overruling the decision of the minister,” Narayanasamy had said. “This is not the job of the lieutenant governor, she has no independent power or authority. She has no respect for law or Constitution. She [acts like] is the Constitution herself.”
In February 2019, the chief minister and his Cabinet colleagues had held a protest against Bedi demanding reopening of closed industries and public sector undertakings and smooth operation of a free rice distribution scheme.
Narayanasamy has had frequent run-ins with Bedi since she was appointed the lieutenant governor of Puducherry in 2016. However, this latest protest holds significance in the lead up to the elections in the Union Territory in May.