The infamous tug of war between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi witnessed a new low when the Chief Minister along with cabinet colleagues sat on a dharna outside the LG’s official residence-cum-office. Narayanasamy, a former union minister in the UPA government, spoke to DH’s ETB. Sivapriyan from the dharna site. Excerpts:
Puducherry is witnessing unprecedented scenes as the Chief Minister is sitting on a dharna outside the LG’s office, Raj Nivas, along with his colleagues. What forced you to take the extreme step?
The protest is against the attitude of the Lt. Governor and her way of functioning. She has been poking her nose into the administration for the past 2.5 years by not allowing the elected government to function at its will. Her (Bedi’s) attitude is unconstitutional and I am determined to continue till she resolves at least a few issues.
What are the issues that forced you to sit on an unprecedented dharna?
The government wanted to implement a free rice scheme, but the LG wanted money to be given directly to the people. She does not understand that people want rice and not money and she always acts against the will of the people. She has not allowed our government to recruit teachers, police constables and nurses. The LG is also creating troubles in the long-held policy of government paying 95% of the salary of unaided school teachers.
What actually led to this dharna?
The government wanted to enforce compulsory helmet policy in phases. We wanted awareness to be created among the people first and implement the rule. But the LG not just implemented in haste but also began going out on the roads and behaving like a traffic constable. Why this hurry? Why can’t we allow some time for the people to be aware of the rules and implement?
Isn’t it unprecedented for a Chief Minister to sit on a dharna? Do you think your action is justified?
It is happening everywhere. There is nothing wrong in my action. The Delhi Chief Minister (Arvind Kejriwal) sat on a dharna inside the LG’s office, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is protesting against CBI’s action and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is protesting against the Centre. Protests are happening everywhere.
When will you call off the protests?
Let her (Bedi) resolve the issue
You will be on the road till she resolves all issues?
At least some issues, which are hampering the functioning of the government. I am determined to continue my protest till she resolves at least some issues.