Centre should withdraw its order nominating 3 MLAs; CM

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Puducherry: Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today urged the Centre to withdraw its order nominating three MLAs to the Union territory Assembly, saying it was in violation of constitutional provisions and democratic norms.

Winding up the day long fast by ruling Congress and its ally DMK here, he accused UT Lt Governor Kiran Bedi of functioning in “total violation of all democratic norms and constitutional procedures”.

Ministers, MLAs and other functionaries of both parties participated in the fast, staged to condemn ‘undemocratic style of functioning’ of Bedi and her act of inducting the three nominated members on July 4.

“The appointment of the three members (V Saminathan, K G Shankar and S Selvaganapathy) is unconstitutional and against all canons of democracy…. It is not justified as there was no recommendation of the names to the Centre by elected Ministry, which is the usual procedure,” Narayanaswamy said.

He alleged that the Centre had arbitrarily acted by finalising the names for nominated legislators post.

All the three nominated members were BJP functionaries in Puducherry, he said, adding that only the Assembly Speaker has the authority to swear in legislators.

“The swearing in of the members by the Lt Governor was improper and unacceptable”, he said.

He demanded that the Union Home Ministry immediately rescind its order nominating the MLAs, “as it has been issued in utter violation of the constitutional provisions and democratic norms.”

He alleged that the opposition AINRC and BJP had been hatching a conspiracy to destabilise the Congress government, which he said was a ‘pipe dream’.

Earlier, on his arrival from New Delhi, Narayanasamy drove straight to the fast venue and informed the participants that he had apprised AICC leaders of the current situation.

He said that the issue of Bedi`s style of functioning would be raised in Parliament soon.

He said that DMK, Left parties and VCK had called for a bandh here tomorrow to condemn Bedi’s ‘unconstitutional approach and also the disrespect the BJP led NDA government at the Centre is showing to the people of Puducherry`.

The ruling Congress has 15 members in the 30 member Assembly while its alliance partner the DMK has two. The AINRC, the main opposition ,has eight members followed by AIADMK with four members. There is one Independent member.

The induction of the three nominated members has raised the strength of the House to 33.

Bedi has however defended her action, saying she had acted according to the law and there was “no conflict” in it.

“Under the Union Territory bylaws, the Government of India is entitled to nominate three members to the Legislative Assembly. The section further states that the oath of office can be administered by anybody who has the power. That is what I did,” she had told reporters yesterday.

Bedi has been at loggerheads with the government over a host of issues ever since she assumed office last year.

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