The power tussle between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi saw fresh skirmishes on January 26, when the former stormed out of a Republic Day function. Both are now demanding an apology from each other.
While Kiran Bedi has asked him to apologise for walking out of the prestigious event, a furious Narayanasamy has defended his stance, alleging “a breach of procedure” had prompted him to take the step.
On Republic Day, the CM refused to honour two Padma Shri awardees, claiming he was not briefed about that earlier. At the event held in Raj Nivas, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor, he was expected to present honorary shawls to the residents of the Union Territory who recently received the civilian award. But, as per an NDTV report, not only did he walk out of the event, but also asked former BJP leader Kiran Bedi to apologise to him.
Meanwhile, Bedi has blamed Narayansamy for insulting the two awardees – terracotta artist VK Munusamy Krishnapakthar and noted author Manoj Das. She also alleged that the CM of Congress-ruled Puducherry misbehaved with a government official present at the venue.
In a statement released on January 27, the former IPS officer wrote: “We invited both the awardees so that the people of Puducherry get a chance to cheer for these national heroes. Both the Padma awardees even agreed to attend the event at such short notice.”
Detailing what unfolded during the event, she added: “Once the awardees arrived, Comptroller Asha Gupta asked the Chief Minister to present a shawl to them to recognize their presence and congratulate them.”
However, according to her statement, instead of accepting the offer graciously, the CM lashed out at the government official for not intimating him about it beforehand. This, Bedi claimed, he said in front of the terracotta artist, much to their embarrassment.
The relations between the Puducherry government and the LG Kiran Bedi have been sour since the time she has assumed office. Narayanasamy and his party members have repeatedly accused the former BJP leader of purposely deferring the clearance of welfare schemes. The Congress party has also blamed her bypassing the government and meddling in state affairs outside her purview.