Nominated MLAs denied entry into Puducherry House

Nominated MLAs denied entry into Puducherry House

The budget session of the Puducherry Assembly began on Monday with high drama after three nominated MLAs belonging to the BJP were prevented from entering the premises following Speaker V Vaithilingam's order.

Despite the Madras High Court validating their nomination in a ruling last week, Vaithilingam refused entry to the lawmakers to participate in the budget session that began with customary address by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi.

Vaithilingam, in a letter to the MLAs on Sunday evening, said the high court has not followed the principles of natural justice since it has passed the order without hearing him.

After the three MLAs - V Saminathan, KG Shankar and S Selvaganapathi were barred from entering the Assembly premises, Kiran sought a report from the chief secretary on the incident and said she will also inform the Union government about the incident.

"I am calling for a report from the chief secretary and will take required follow-up action at our administrative end. The GOI, MHA shall be informed accordingly too," Bedi said in a statement.

Unfazed by the high court order, the Assembly also passed a resolution recommending that Speaker Vaithilingam appeal against the order validating the nomination of the three MLAs.

"The resolution was passed in the Assembly since the MLAs felt only an elected government can nominate MLAs to the legislature. Since due procedure was not followed in their nomination, the Speaker rejected their appointment. Speaker's order should be respected since he enjoys supreme power in the House," Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told DH.

Kiran and Narayanaswamy have been locked in a bitter battle ever since they assumed office, almost around the same time in 2016, on several issues and the MLAs nomination is the latest thorn in their relationship.

The Congress-led government says Kirani "overstepped" her authority by recommending nomination of the three MLAs without consulting the Cabinet.

Vaithilingam had in November last year struck down their appointment, which was declared "null and void" by the Madras High Court last Thursday.

The high court also allowed the MLAs to take their seat in the Assembly.

After they were denied entry into the Assembly on Monday, the nominated MLAs met Kiran at the Raj Nivas and "placed their anguish."

Leader of Opposition N Rangasamy also met Kiran and complained about the "high-handedness" of the Speaker.

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