BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was today appointed as Lt Governor of Puducherry, a post which was under the additional charge of Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island for nearly two years.
A Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said “the President has been pleased to appoint Ms Kiran Bedi, to be the Lt. Governor of Puducherry with effect from the date she assumes charges of her office.”
“I look forward to giving every bit of myself to the responsibility. I am there for the benefit of the country. I am here to give my best every day, each day. I am grateful for the government’s decision. They trusted me,” said 66-year-old Bedi, who is the country’s first woman IPS officer and who had led the BJP campaign for the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls without any success,
The appointment came three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member state Assembly. AIADMK, which contested the elections on its own, won four seats while BJP could not get even a single seat.
The LG post in the Union territory had been lying vacant after the Narendra Modi Government had sacked UPA nominee Virendra Kataria on July 12 barely a year after he had been appointed. Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island Lt Gen Ajay Singh had been given additional charge of Puducherry.
Born on June 9, 1949, Bedi had led the BJP campaign in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections but had to face the worst defeat in her maiden political innings with Arvind Kejriwal- led AAP winning 67 of the 70 seats.
An IPS officer of 1972 batch, Bedi had sought voluntary retirement from the service in 2007. She was then posted as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development.
A sports lover and an author, Bedi is a recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award as well as UN Medal for outstanding service. She was one of the pioneers of anti-corruption crusade in 2011 along with Anna Hazare and Kejriwal against the then UPA government.
She also earned a law degree at Delhi University in 1988 and a PhD from IIT Delhi’s Department of Social Sciences in 1993.
Bedi said she was part of the Union Territory(UT) cadre in the IPS and she always longed to go to Puducherry.
“I was posted at Mizoram, Goa, Chandigarh, but I missed out Andaman and Pondicherry. It is a wonderful opportunity. It’s a part of my own cadre,” she said.
“I stand another test on the basis of which I am identified as the Governor of Pondicherry. I think it’s been nothing (but) that I am trustworthy of justice, administrative experience,” she added.
Bedi said for her the Lt Governor’s office stands for total acceptability of every single person of that state.
Bedi will be the fourth woman Lt Governor of the Union Territory.
Chandrawathi was the first woman Lt Governor and she held office for a short period from February to December 1990.
The next woman incumbent was Rajendra Kumari Bajpai who held the office from 1995 to 1998 and she was followed by Rajani Rai from 1998 to 2002.
Singh was holding the post under additional charge since July 14, 2014.