'Bedi has 'no authority' to cancel SEC's appointment'

'Bedi has 'no authority' to cancel SEC's appointment'

V Narayanasamy. (DH photo)

Days after Puducherry Lt Governor issued an order declaring as null and void the appointment of a retired IAS officer as State Election Commissioner by the territorial government, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday said Kiran Bedi has "no authority" to rescind it.

The Chief Minister told reporters that Bedi has no authority to cancel or rescind the appointment made by the government. "The Home Ministry had only given the guidelines on the modality of appointment in the future. The incumbent T M Balakrishnan, appointed by the government, will continue and he has already commenced work to redraw the territorial limits of the wards and appoint election officers."

Terming the appointment as "fait accompli", the Chief Minister said none could tamper with it. "The appointment has become a fait accompli and neither Kiran Bedi nor the Home Ministry can quash the appointment of the present SEC, he said adding the order of the Lt Governor declaring Balakrishnan's appointment as null and void only "deserves to be thrown into the dustbin."

"In case a move is to be made to replace him, the process adopted should be on the same lines followed for impeachment of a judge of a High court through a resolution in the territorial assembly," he said. The territorial government had appointed T M Balakrishnan as the SEC in July. On December 20, the Lt Governor had issued an order declaring the appointment of Balakrishnan as "void ab initio".

Narayanasamy said his government would bring in a special health insurance scheme called 'Chief Minister's Health Insurance scheme' to provide medical assistance and ensure cashless treatment for all families now left out of the 'Ayushman Bharat Abhiyan.'

This special insurance scheme would cover around two lakh families who were not covered under the Ayushman Bharat Abhiyan, he said. The government would spend Rs 18 crore to provide the health insurance scheme under its scheme.

Flaying Bedi for 'impeding' welfare schemes, he said the government would not be cowed down by any interruption and would implement them. "Our decision to supply rice instead of cash equivalent to the quantum of rice as maintained by Kiran Bedi to card holders would hold good soon," he contended.

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