The Speaker of Puducherry Assembly today termed as ‘improper’ and ‘not acceptable’ the induction of three BJP loyalists as nominated MLAs by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and returned the file to her, sparking a fresh round of confrontation. Bedi had on July 4 inducted V Saminathan, the president of BJP’s Puducherry unit; K G Shankar, its treasurer and S Selvaganapathy, a BJP functionary and a local educationist, triggering a wave of protests from Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Congress leaders. “The induction of the three members was improper and not acceptable as the swearing-in was not done in proper procedure,” a source close to Speaker V Vaithilingam quoted him as having said in a note while returning the file Bedi had forwarded to him on July 5, informing him of their induction.
There was also no communication from the Union Home Ministry, the competent authority, to the office of the Speaker on appointment of the three members as nominated legislators, the note said. The source said the file was returned to Bedi on these grounds. The Speaker’s observation comes against the backdrop of opposition AIADMK (Amma) plea to the Speaker earlier today to convene a special assembly session and adopt a resolution against the “arbitrary nomination” of the three members by the Centre and their induction into the House. Party leader A Anbalagan had told reporters that “unnecessary confusion” has been created by the Centre through the “arbitrary nomination” of the three members and their induction in the House by the Lt Governor.
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The Lt Governor had taken the stand that she had acted only in keeping with the statutory provisions. Her action had drawn flak from Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, PWD Minister and PCC president A Namassivayam, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy and ruling Congress legislators, that she had acted arbitrarily, “violating democratic norms and conventions.”
Narayanasamy had earlier termed the swearing in of the members by Bedi a “murder of democracy” and alleged that she was functioning as an “agent of the BJP”. He had also urged the Centre to withdraw the nomination of the three, saying it was against the constitutional provisions and democratic norms.
Ruling Congress leaders along with leaders and legislators of its alliance partner DMK and also functionaries of CPI, CPI(M) and VCK had observed a fast on July 7 condemning the “appointment of the three BJP activists without consulting the elected government.” A day-long bandh was also observed on July 8 at the instance of the Congress and the other parties seeking ouster of Kiran Bedi from the post of Lt Governor. The three legislators, meanwhile, had submitted a joint letter to the Assembly Secretary on July 7 seeking allocation of a room for them on the premises of the Assembly, issue of identity cards and other statutory facilities. Saminathan, one of the nominated members, has been appointed as leader of the BJP`s legislature wing, according to the letter the nominated members had presented to the Secretary of the Assembly.