Interview| ‘Did not block any welfare scheme, ensured transparency’: Kiran Bedi
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was removed as Puducherry lieutenant governor (L-G) on February 16, spoke to Ramesh Vinayak about the powers of the L-G in the Union territory and the allegations of non-cooperation levelled against her by CM V Narayanasamy. Edited excerpts:
The constitutional framework for the lieutenant governor of Puducherry provided that you had to work on the aid and advice of the council of ministers. But CM V Narayanasamy alleged that you did not?
In terms of Section 44 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963, read with Rules of Business from time to time made thereunder, all decisions taken by the cabinet are to be placed before the L-G before they are acted upon by the concerned administrative department. In 95% of the cases, I went along with the decisions taken by the cabinet. In case of difference of opinion, the L-G is required to refer the matter to the central government and the decision of the Centre is binding.
Your interpretation of the 2018 Supreme Court order in the case related to powers of the Delhi government and the L-G was totally different from the CM. You said that it provided the L-G the powers to intervene in day-to-day functioning of the government. Why do you think you were right?
The administrative set-up of the UT of Puducherry is not that of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The UT of Puducherry is governed by the provisions of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963. In respect of the Government of NCT of Delhi, it is governed by the constitutional provisions. The Supreme Court has categorically ruled that the NCT of Delhi is a sue generis (of its own kind) among the UTs, and therefore its order is applicable only to Delhi
The CM had alleged that you did not approve funds for building a dam or providing relief to fishermen and blocked almost every proposal of his government. How true is this?
I did not block any welfare scheme but ensured diligence in public spending and transparency and fair deal in welfare assistances.
How do you see your long-running confrontation with the CM, who was from the Congress?
Their political needs were in variance with the rule of law.
How do you respond to the Congress government’s charge that you had reduced the L-G office to an extension counter of the BJP?
This is a blatant lie.
The perception is that you have been eased out ahead of the assembly elections to blunt the Congress government tirade that you didn’t let it perform at the behest of the BJP.
It is a presumption.
What is your next plan? Would you like to revert to politics?
The speed at which life unfolds, I am wondering who is the architect?