Puducherry: Courting controversy yet again, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday ordered denial of free rice to all those in the Union Territory whose villagers are not certified as free of garbage and open defecation by end of May.
She lashed out at the local representatives, community leaders and public officials for showing ‘no interest’ in making rural Puducherry clean within a time frame.
“In all our rural visits, we have seen community leaders putting forth various demands on behalf of the people, but I have never seen any of them impatient at cleaning up the village in their constituency which is the cause of several diseases,” she said.
“If you want dialysis machine, clean up your village. You want free rice, clean up your village... Men, women children, everyone clean up your village. You have one month’s time. It will be given to you only on the condition that the village is clean,” said Ms Bedi in her address to the villagers.
She later wrote to Chief Minister V. Narayanasami informing him of her decision and her order to the Civil Supplies Commissioner to send notices to all the villages giving them time till May 31 to clean up their villages.
“This action, I presume, will inculcate a sense of responsibility/duty amongst our people and will hasten our objective of Swachh Grameen Union Territory”, she told the CM.
CM Narayanasamy, needless to say, was not pleased with the Lt Governor’s decision. He slammed it saying it was against Constitution. So did many political leaders and social activists.
AIADMK legislature party leader A Anbazhagan called Ms Bedi’s order autocratic and said it cannot be accepted. She was threatening poor villagers, which was unbecoming of her position as Lt. Governor, he said.
Ms Bedi’s decision to stop rice for the poor became a huge ‘hit’ in the Social Media through the day, with most people slamming her as being insensitive towards the poor and punishing the villagers for the failure of her officials down the line.
One twitteratti following her post showed her home city Delhi in all its glorious filth and said: “Madam, this is your own Delhi where you have born and brought up! Don’t blame @ArvindKejriwal for this because it's the responsibility of BJP ruled MCD. Please clean your backyard first. Jai Hind”.