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Puducherry CM’s dharna continues for 4th day, writes to Centre on reasons for stir

By PTI Updated: Feb 16, 2019 11:31 pm

Puducherry, Feb. 16 (PTI): Continuing his dharna for the fourth day outside the Raj Nivas against Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Saturday shot off a letter to the Centre in which he charged Bedi with adopting an “autocratic” style of functioning and said the stir will continue till his demands are met.

In his letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the chief minister alleged that Bedi “had been running a parallel day-to-day administration totally blocking welfare schemes meant for SCs, BCs, fishermen and other downtrodden people.”

Narayanasamy also charged the Lt Governor with “adopting a high handed, arm twisting and autocratic style of governance” in Puducherry.

He apprised the Home Minister of the letters he had written to Bedi, asking her to follow “the Constitutional provisions, democratic norms and statutory laws and to respect elected institutions of governance.”

The chief minister also alleged in the letter that the Lt Governor had stopped implementation of ‘free rice scheme’ and extending of scholarship to SC students for professional education even after cabinet approval.

Listing the reasons for the agitation, he said the entire cabinet of Puducherry has resorted to a peaceful assembly in front of the Raj Nivas because of the “adamant attitude” of Lt Governor towards democratic laws and also the “continuous misery” inflicted on the people of the Union Territory.

Noting that Bedi had left for New Delhi on February 14, he said it was totally for “very trivial reasons” and for “self promotion”.

The chief minister informed the Home Minister that the dharna in front of Raj Nivas would continue round the clock until their demands were met.

Seeking the President’s intervention in the matter, Narayanasamy said he should advise Bedi to function in a “democratic” way and address people’s issues.

Speaking to reporters here last night, the chief minister said he and his ministers would continue the stir till a “positive reply is available from the Lt Governor” to the various proposals including on the free rice scheme which the cabinet had forwarded to her.

He said, “These proposals relating to welfare schemes and also various administrative issues have been hanging in balance for several months.”

Calling on workers and others supporting the dharna to ensure that there is no disruption law and order, he said, “Neither the Centre nor Kiran Bedi should get an opportunity to blame us on any count.”

He also said as part of widening the agitation, stirs would be held at constituency level from Saturday.

Functionaries of different wings of the ruling Congress and the DMK have also joined the protest.

“We have selected 12 centres spread across 23 Assembly segments in Puducherry where the leaders and MLAs along with workers of parties belonging to the secular front would hold agitations in a peaceful manner,” Narayanasamy said.

Workers of the Congress party and its alliance partners in all Assembly segments on Sunday would protest against the “style of functioning” of Bedi, he said.

The chief minister, his cabinet colleagues and legislators belonging to the Congress and the DMK continued the agitation outside the Lt Governor’s residence where a large number of Rapid Action Force personnel have been deployed.

The Lt Governor and the government headed by Narayanasamy have been at loggerheads over various issues ever since Bedi assumed office in May 2016.

By PTI Updated: Feb 16, 2019 11:31:22 pm