Kiran Bedi wins one round in Puducherry, Centre says LG is all powerful in UT
Puducherry’s combative Lt Governor Kiran Bedi got a thumbs up from the Centre with the Union Home Ministry clarifying that the LG has full powers to call for papers of any particular department.Updated: Jun 25, 2017 12:03 IST
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi seems to have won this round of battle with chief minister V Narayansamy when it comes to absolute powers that can be exercised by the Raj Bhavan.
According to sources close to the Lt Governor, the union home ministry has clarified the position of the LG in a union territory, which is wider in its scope and powers as compared to the position of a governor in a full-fledged state.
The Union home ministry’s clarifications came after a memorandum by chief minister Narayansamy on the powers of the LG.
While the communication from the Union home ministry makes it clear that the LG has full powers to call for papers of any particular department, deal with officials if he/she so wishes, it also says the LG would not have the power to order the chief minister, minister or elected representatives.
The LG can at best request them to make a presentation or clarify doubts if any, on a government programme and policy, the Union home ministry said.
The home ministry’s ruling is based on Rule No 21 (5) under which it said the LG has the power to call for a file of any particular case.
The chief minister had questioned Bedi’s powers to do the same and raised the issue with the union home ministry recently. It is the same rule that gives her the scope to interact with official directly, over the head of the elected representatives. Otherwise, the administration is carried out by the chief secretary and the secretaries, who in turn interact with the elected representatives.
Essentially, the home ministry has clarified that LG in a union territory can act on his or her own, without the advice of the council of ministers. And in case of any difference of opinion can send the matter to the central government or president and in case of emergency can take a decision at the LG level itself.
Bedi has been fighting a running battle with the chief minister, who in turn complains that the LG has been overstepping her powers and interfering with the running of the state and also coming in the way of an elected government from fulfilling its election promises.
First Published: Jun 24, 2017 22:05 IST