Chennai: Puducherry chief minister V. Narayanasamy summoned his officials on Tuesday and told them of not only the rules governing the functioning of the administration, but also the importance of lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi accepting his decisions.
This came days after Narayanasamy emphasized—amid reports of a face-off with Bedi—that “There is a very good equation with the lieutenant governor and we are working together towards the development of the state."
Reports of differences between Narayanasamy and Bedi have an echo of the souring relationship between the Delhi government of Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jang.
Kiran Bedi was the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2015 Delhi assembly elections. The party lost heavily to Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party which took 67 of the 70 seats. She then took charge as Puducherry governor on 29 May.
According to a senior politician in Puducherry, Bedi has created WhatsApp groups through which she gives instructions and orders to officials.
Tuesday’s meeting was convened by the chief minister with chief secretary, department secretaries and other officials to seek clarity on the adherence to the procedures. Narayanasamy is said to have directed the officials to follow the laid down rules and regulations in moving files or taking decisions.
According to the New Indian Express the chief minister, who belongs to the Congress party, said, “it was neither proper nor recognised way for functioning (through WhatsApp groups)".
On 26 July, the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam charged Bedi and Narayanasamy with functioning in different directions and without coordination, leading to dislocation of implementation of various welfare schemes in the union territory.
“The lieutenant governor knows her power. The union territory of Puducherry is different from Delhi. We have the land, law and order and service areas under the council of ministers and the governor acts according to the aid of the council of ministers," Narayanasamy said rejecting the AIADMK’s allegation that there is a ‘virtual race’ between the Bedi and him on who would be able to procure funds from the Centre.
Narayanasamy, who did not contest the assembly election in May, was sworn in as the chief minister of Puducherry on June 6. He heads an alliance of the Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
PTI contributed to the story