Arvind Kejriwal welcomes Madras HC decision on Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi

Published: Apr 30, 2019, 18:16 IST | PTI

Reacting to the verdict, Kejriwal called Bedi "Modi government's political nominee"

Arvind Kejriwal welcomes Madras HC decision on Puducherry LG Kiran Bedi
Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday welcomed the Madras High Court verdict which held that Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi "cannot interfere" in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government of the Union Territory, saying the Constitution is clear but the Modi government has "refused" to allow non-BJP elected governments to function.

In a setback to Bedi, the Madras High Court on Tuesday held that "the elected government functioning through the Council of Ministers cannot be defeated by the act of the Administrator... by way of interfering in the day to day affairs of the Government".

Reacting to the verdict, Kejriwal called Bedi "Modi government's political nominee". Bedi, who was part of Anna Hazare's Lokpal agitation, fell out with Kejriwal over the formation of Aam Aadmi Party in 2012. She later joined the BJP and was its chief ministerial candidate in 2015 Assembly polls, which the party lost. She was appointed as Lt Governor of Puducherry in May 2016.

"Welcome verdict by the Madras High Court stating unambiguously that Modi govt's political nominee Puducherry LG Ms Kiran Bedi has no power to interfere in elected government's functioning. Constitution is clear but Modi govt refused to allow non-BJP elected governments to function," Kejriwal said in a tweet.

Kejriwal has had several run-ins with the LG on the issue of division of powers and has accused him of acting at the behest of the Centre to stall schemes of his government.

Allowing a petition by K Laksminarayanan, a Congress MLA, Justice R Mahadevan of Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside the two communications issued in January and June 2017 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs "elevating" the power of the Puducherry administrator.

Referring to the Supreme Court judgement on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the judge said restrictions imposed on the Government of Delhi are not applicable to the Government of Puducherry.

"The apex court has clearly held that there is a distinction between the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry", the judge said.

Though Puducherry was not a state, the Legislative Assembly would have the same powers as that of a state, he said.

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