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Secretary to Pondy Lt Governor summoned by Privileges Committee

In the ongoing tussle between the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and the elected representatives, Tuesday witnessed many a twist and turn. The Assembly members asserted their supremacy in definite terms by issuing summons to the senior officials.

Secretary to Pondy Lt Governor summoned by Privileges Committee
(L) Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and (R) Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy


Deputy Speaker of Assembly and Chairman of the Committee on Privileges VP Sivakolundhu issued summons to the Secretary to Lt Governor Theva Neethi Dhas to appear before it on Wednesday for contempt of the Assembly. 
The committee asked him to explain why he should not be charged for contempt of the House by abetting R Chandrasekaran to function as Commissioner of Puducherry Municipality violating the ruling of the Speaker on the floor of the House on March 30. 
The summons stated that the Speaker had in a note to the Committee on April 3 for perusal and to decide the contempt of the House. Meanwhile, senior civil service Officer R Chandrasekaran, who was replaced and placed under compulsory wait by a ruling of Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam on March 30, on Tuesday appeared before the Privilege Committee. He was summoned by the Committee in the wake of a complaint filed before the Committee by an opposition MLA and few others. 
Chandrasekaran resumed office as the Commissioner of Puducherry Municipality on Monday though he was placed under compulsory wait after he was replaced by a ruling of the Speaker. 
The committee had served him the summons on the ground that he had committed contempt of the House by resuming office against the ruling of the Speaker. He was replaced through an order of the Chief Secretary within hours of the Speaker giving the ruling in the wake of complaints made against him by legislators of both the ruling and opposition block on the floor of the House on March 30. 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister K Lakshminarayanan who is one of the members of the Privilege Committee told newsmen at the end of nearly thirty minute proceedings, Chandrasekaran was handed copies of complaints the committee had received. 
Chandrasekaran was given time till April 11 to submit his replies. While keeping him under compulsory wait the Chief Secretary in his order had assigned the post of Municipal Commissioner to Director of Art and Culture Ganesan. 
Elected government in UT has full powers, resolve all-party members
The democratically elected government enjoys full power in the Union Territory of Puducherry. A resolution to this effect was adopted unanimously in an all-party meeting convened here on Tuesday. The Congress convened an all-party meeting to discuss the issue of the Lt Governor allegedly becoming a stumbling block in the development of the Union Territory. 
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, his Cabinet colleagues, legislators and leaders of about 21 political parties attended the meeting presided over by PCC president A Namasivayam. However, no one on behalf of the BJP and PMK participated in the meeting while, MLA Selvam PTR alone took part on behalf of the N R Congress. The meeting resolved that as prescribed in the Constitution of India, not only the Centre and state governments, but also the Union Territory government enjoy full powers. Hence, this is applicable to the Puducherry Government also. 
The meeting also resolved that all the party leaders and legislators should go to New Delhi to meet the President, Prime Minister, and Union Home Minister to explain the political situation prevailing in the Union Territory and the functioning of the Lt Governor which is against democracy. 

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