Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi has lashed out at the Union territory’s chief secretary for his “irresponsible” conduct over replacing a senior officer in the ongoing power tussle with the Congress-led government.
Bedi was upset over Manoj Kumar Parida’s action in following assembly speaker V Vaithilingam’s order that Puducherry municipal commissioner R Chandirasekharan should be removed from the post and kept on the compulsory wait list.
Parida followed the directions of the speaker, who ordered Chandirasekharan’s removal last Thursday after an MLA moved a privilege motion against him, alleging the official was not responding to various key public issues raised by him.
Bedi, however, cancelled Parida’s order following which Chandirashekharan resumed his post.
“The irresponsible and immature conduct of the Chief Secretary has brought huge anguish and rift in the governance of Puducherry,” she tweeted on Wednesday.
Standing firm, Parida said the LG was ill informed about rules and quoting the rules wrong and “which is why even the Union home ministry has not interfered in the matter.”
“I have the full competency and as well as have full powers to give posting to any official, temporary charge to any official. And, I have been discharging this duty for a long time. Besides, in this matter, the rules are very clear, the speaker’s orders are final and binding,” he told Hindustan Times over the phone from Puducherry on Wednesday.
“She is not aware of the rules and is quoting the rules wrongly,” he said.
He added that if an official is kept out pending an inquiry there is no big deal and the official can always come back after the inquiry is over. “I don’t understand why she is getting worked up,” he said.
Bedi has been asserting her supremacy in the state and has rubbed the chief minister V Narayanasamy and elected representatives the wrong way. The elected representatives also want the central government to recall her.
The slugfest between Narayanasamy and Bedi, both of whom assumed office in May last year, mirrors the tug-of-war between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government and the Delhi’s former LG Najeeb Jung, and now, Anil Baijal.
Bedi, a former Indian Police Service officer, joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and was the party’s candidate for the chief minister’s post during the 2015 assembly elections in Delhi.