Puducherry, Jan 12 (PTI) Sharpening his attack on Lt Governor Kiran Bedi over her stand against the distribution of Pongal gift hampers to all families here, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the Governor would face “serious repercussions” if she did not concur with the government on the issue.
Addressing reporters here, Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Bedi on various issues, said he had on Friday sent a file, informing her that Pongal hampers comprising raisins, cashew nuts and cardamom should be available free of cost to “all families without discrimination”.
He said Bedi would face “very serious repercussions” if she did not see eye to eye with his government on the Pongal gift hamper scheme.
Narayanasamy said, “I have made it clear that the benefit should be available for all families”.
He claimed the recent Madras High Court order, permitting distribution of freebies to all ration card holders in Tamil Nadu without any discrimination, was also applicable to Puducherry.
The chief minister charged the Lt Governor with “twisting and misinterpreting” the court order which, he said, had only restrained the Tamil Nadu government from distributing cash gift of Rs 1,000 to all families.
“The free supply of provisions and commodities for Pongal is to cover all families and the high court has also made this very clear,” he pointed out.
Bedi had on Wednesday hailed the Madras High Court order, directing the Tamil Nadu government to restrict the Pongal cash gift of Rs 1,000 to Below Poverty Line families.
In a message to media, she had said the order was “a voice of wisdom, sagacity, financial prudence and reasonable restraint protecting society as a whole… also one of accountability and responsibility towards the really needy”.
Noting that there was a limit to everything, Narayanasamy said the Lt Governor “cannot run roughshod and misuse power and authority”.
He also termed as “unfortunate” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response to the representations made by him all along on the style of functioning of the Puducherry Lt Governor.
Earlier, the chief minister also participated in a demonstration organised jointly by the Left parties and the Viduthalai Chirutaigal Katchi (VCK) to condemn Bedi’s “autocratic” style of functioning.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.