Kiran Bedi thanked the government for a “life time experience” as the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, after she was removed from the top post last night amid a crisis in the ruling Congress government in the union territory. The Congress government has slipped into a minority after four Congress leaders resigned from the Assembly since last month.
“Thank all those who were a part my journey as Lt Governor of Puducherry-The People of Puducherry and all the Public officials,” Ms Bedi, 71, tweeted this morning, along with a statement.
“I thank the Government of India for a life time experience in serving Puducherry, as its Lt Governor,” she said. “TeamRajNivas” worked diligently to serve larger public interest, Ms Bedi said.
The notice for Ms Bedi’s withdrawal, which came from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, is seen as a political move by the BJP to negate their rivals’ primary campaign platform and further weaken them ahead of assembly election in May.
Thank all those who were a part my journey as Lt Governor of Puducherry-
The People of Puducherry and all the Public officials. pic.twitter.com/ckvwJ694qq
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) February 17, 2021
The former IPS officer also tweeted a clip of a motivational quote from a cover of a dairy on her table. “Kind heart, fierce mind, brave spirit,” it said.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been asked to discharge functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, until a new appointment is made.
Ms Bedi was functioning as Lieutenant-Governor till late Tuesday evening and reviewing the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the union territory and issuing directions for bringing in police force and sanitation workers in the frontline worker category for the inoculation.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with her ever since her appointment in Puducherry, welcomed her removel, calling it a “victory for the people”.
Of the 30 elected MLAs in the assembly, Congress had 15 members and, along with the DMK’s three and one independent member, was just past the majority mark of 16.
After the resignations, the government and the opposition both are at 14. The Congress has 10 members, leaving the V Narayanasamy government one short of the majority mark, which is now 15 with the assembly strength dropping to 28.
The Chief Minister, however, is in denial. “Our government is not in the minority,” he told NDTV, accusing the BJP of poaching MLAs. “It is public knowledge… people are saying this MLA and that minister has been purchased…,” he said. He accused the BJP of planning another “Operation Kamal (lotus)”.