Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi justifies holding video conferences with officers

Puducherry: The war of words between Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and the Congress government over her working style and her powers continued unabated on Sunday with Bedi justifying her video conferences with officers.

In her reaction to chief minister V Narayanasamy's statement that she had been holding video conferences without his knowledge, Bedi asserted that the "lieutenant governor of Union Territory does not need any permission to hold video conferences".

 Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi justifies holding video conferences with officers

File image of Kiran Bedi (left) and V Narayanasamy. News18

"Someone should tell the chief minister that lieutenant governor does not need any permission to hold video conferences. The lieutenant governor decides which is the best technology tool to use to connect with regions and officers and also the people for redressing grievances of public and also for any other seminars or conferences," Bedi said in a release.

Narayanaswamy had on 16 June in the Assembly taken strong exception to Bedi making field visits, calling meetings of officials at the Raj Nivas, holding meetings through video conferencing and sending communications through social media.

The Assembly had also passed a resolution seeking a grant of full administrative powers to the elected government in Puducherry after the chief minister led a frontal attack on Bedi's style of functioning.

Claiming that the lieutenant governor had no powers to take any decision arbitrarily, the chief minister had said she should act in "consultation and concurrence" of the elected ministry.

The resolution had also urged the Centre to bring amendments to the Government of Union Territories Act 1963 so that only the elected government in the Union terrirotry was vested with full powers on administrative matters so that it could look after the welfare of the people.

Bedi brushed aside the charges that she had been delaying approval of files, saying "files are not delayed and I also never avoid signing papers".

"I and my secretary G Theva Needhi Dhas examine all files received without delay and we occasionally call the secretary of the department concerned for clarification, if needed, to avoid delay and to ensure we record a well-considered decision," said Bedi.

"Delay, if any, would occur when the chief minister`s secretariat delays in letting the officers come to office of the Lt Governor for discussions. Even when I am away on tour, my secretary gets urgent matters cleared," Bedi said.

"A large number of files were pending with the secretariat even after I have recorded my views or sought reports," she said.

She also expressed concern over several of her reminders not being responded to or unsatisfactory response from respective departments.

Bedi, who assumed office in May last year, has been involved in tussles with the Congress government on a host of issues.

She has been asserting that being the administrator of the UT, she had the powers over the administrative matters.

Last year, the former IPS officer had even threatened to quit her post and leave the Union Territory over non-cooperation by the officials. PTI COR RC RAX 06182143 NNNN

Updated Date: Jun 18, 2017 23:32:15 IST