In a big victory for Puducherry Lieutenant Governer Kiran Bedi, the Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the appointment of three nominated BJP MLAs in Puducherry who were appointed by Bedi.
In a big victory for Puducherry Lieutenant Governer Kiran Bedi, the Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the appointment of three nominated BJP MLAs in Puducherry who were appointed by Bedi. The MLAs were appointed by Bedi in July last year after which there was a major controversy as it led to an exchange of barbs between the Lieutenant Governer and Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy. The High Court had in November last year reserved the verdict on the petitions filed by the three nominated MLAs — V Saminathan, KG Shankar and S Selvaganapathi. The three MLAs had challenged the notice issued by the Puducherry Assembly Secretary in which they were refused to attend House proceedings. The Assembly Secretary had said that the nominations were invalid.
On July 4, Bedi inducted three members of the BJP as nominated legislators in her office after Speaker V Vaithilingam allegedly declined to recognise their nomination on the ground that there was “no official communication to his office from a competent authority”. A strong protest erupted with the ruling Congress and its alliance partner, the DMK, and some other parties raising a banner of revolt against the Centre for “arbitrarily deciding the names of the three nominated members without any recommendation from the state government”. The Congress, the DMK and a number of other parties organised a bandh on July 7 which was followed by a day-long closedown on July 8 to protest against the nominations. The parties alleged that Bedi was functioning like “an agent of the BJP” and was interfering in the routine functioning of the elected government.
Differences between Kiran Bedi and the government have taken center stage on various occasions. Apart from the strong objection of Narayanasamy and his colleagues over Bedi’s style of functioning, a resolution was brought in by the opposition AIADMK in the assembly to urge the Centre to rein in the Lt Governor. Bedi had also continued with her weekend visits to rural, urban and semi-urban areas to see for herself the “lack of amenities” and listen to the grievances of the locals. These visits also evoked strong protests by legislators of the ruling Congress and its alliance partners.