Puducherry: Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Saturday took strong exception to Lt Governor Kiran Bedi appointing a retired government official as her consultant cum Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in ‘violation of rules’.
The CM, who has been at loggerheads with Bedi on various issues ever since she assumed office in May 2006, told reporters here that when her former secretary G Theva Needhi Das retired on June 30 this year, the Lt Governor sought the Centre’s permission to appoint him as her ‘adviser’.
However, on getting the Home Ministry clearance to appoint Das as ‘consultant’, she nominated him as ‘consultant cum Officer on Special Duty’ (OSD) in Raj Nivas thereby violating the Central instructions, said the CM, adding, “This matter has been taken up with the Home Ministry”.
The CM pointed out that a ‘consultant’ does not have the powers or authority to peruse the official files or hold meetings with officers and attend meetings convened by the Lt Governor. Though he had written letters to Bedi about this, he got no reply, he said.
CM Narayanasamy also alleged “misuse of power” by the office of the Lt Governor in raising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from private companies and institutions for de-silting of canals and other water bodies in the Union Territory over the last few weeks. “People are contacting me directly with complaints that they were pressured to contribute CSR funds by persons working in the Lt Governor's office”, said the CM, insisting that the Lt Governor should responsibility for this wrong-doing allegedly happening in her office.
Reacting, Kiran Bedi said her office was just a facilitator and came into the picture to help in the de-silting works only for the sake of the people, since the elected government was found wanting in this area. “Raj Nivas does not receive any funds straight from the donors. Those contributing funds under CSR had direct link with the owners of the earth movers or excavators and industrial houses involved in the de-silting works”, said Bedi, adding, “We are not receiving any funds.. the contributions were made voluntarily for the cause of enriching the water resources in villages”.
On the appointment of a retired officer as OSD cum consultant, Bedi said Das was engaged in the post with the prior approval of the Union Home Ministry and also with the concurrence of Department of Finance of territorial government. And Das “is discharging responsibilities as per assignments given by Lt Governor,” she maintained....