Kiran Bedi Eliminated As Puducherry Lt Governor Amid Congress Disaster
Kiran Bedi was eliminated as Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry late Tuesday night time, in what sources mentioned was a political transfer designed to negate opposition events’ main marketing campaign platform for Meeting elections due in Might. Rashtrapati Bhavan mentioned President Ram Nath Kovind had directed Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to take over until a substitute is introduced. Ms Bedi’s elimination additionally got here hours after a fourth member of the ruling Congress resigned from the Meeting, leaving Chief Minister V Narayanasamy’s authorities within the minority. Shortly earlier than she was eliminated Mr Narayanasamy, who has had a long-running and public feud with Ms Bedi, informed NDTV that one of many MLAs who had resigned had been “harassed… several times” by her.
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Ms Bedi’s elimination is being broadly seen as a political transfer by the BJP to negate the Congress’ election marketing campaign, which focuses on allegations that Ms Bedi was scuttling Puducherry’s growth on the behest of the centre. The allegations are on the coronary heart of a long-running feud between Ms Bedi and Mr Narayanasamy.
Ms Bedi, who was appointed in Might 2016, has lengthy been concerned in a feud with Mr Narayanasamy, who has complained of her “undemocratic style of functioning”. Final month he sat on dharna exterior her official residence. “This is a not a new demand. Even in 2019 December, we sat in dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan,” he informed NDTV then.
Sources additionally mentioned Ms Bedi’s elimination was additionally one of many situations positioned by A Namassivayam – one of many two ex-Congress leaders who final month resigned as MLAs and from the occasion to affix the BJP.
Tuesday night time the Chief Minister informed NDTV: “We met the President because Malladi Krishna Rao (one of the Congress MLAs who quit to join the BJP) had been harassed by Kiran Bedi several times… Kiran Bedi has been interfering in the day-to-day administration of our government and she has been trying to create problems,” he mentioned.
4 Congress leaders have resigned to this point; a fifth, N Dhanavelou, was disqualified for alleged anti-party actions final 12 months. Two MLAs – A Namassivayam and E Theeppainjan – resigned final month. Each have joined the BJP. On Monday Malladi Krishna Rao stop, and in the present day John Kumar resigned. With these resignations the Congress has misplaced its skinny majority within the Puducherry Meeting.
Mr Namassivayam’s change was an enormous blow; the previous state Congress chief performed an enormous function in consolidating the occasion’s base in Puducherry. With him, a number of different leaders and functionaries walked out and crossed over to the BJP, a well-worn script that has performed out in a number of states the place defections have introduced down governments.
Mr Narayanasamy has remained defiant within the face of those resignations, telling NDTV: Our authorities will not be in a minority.” He said the resignations of Mr Rao and Mr Kumar had not yet been accepted and were still being considered by the Speaker.
The Chief Minister also accused the BJP of planning another “Operation Kamal (lotus)” – the opposition’s name for what they say is the BJP’s strategy of engineering defections and toppling governments – in Puducherry.
Elections are due by May in Puducherry and neighbouring Tamil Nadu, besides Kerala, West Bengal and Assam. The BJP does not expect much from Tamil Nadu and Kerala at this point, but feels it has a better chance in Puducherry, with the Congress weakened.
The Congress won 15 assembly seats in 2016, including that of the Speaker. It took power with support of the DMK and an independent candidate. The opposition AINRC has seven, the AIADMK has four and there are three nominated members of the BJP.