PUDUCHERRY: “The real problem I believe is refusing to be a rubber stamp Lt Governor. They (Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his ministers) told me to be a figurehead. I told them I won’t. They will deny saying it. But I have proof to back my claim.” That was the feisty Kiran Bedi asserting she was a functional administrator, in an exclusive interaction with The New Indian Express.
“It’s a challenge for an administrator who encourages collaborative empowerment and financial prudence,” she said, while reacting to an Express report on Puducherry CM Narayanasamy complaining to President Pranab Mukherjee on her ‘intrusive’ style of functioning. Narayanasamy had argued that the scope of the L-G’s intervention was limited to only 14 areas as specified in the Rules of Business of the Union Territories Act, 1963, but Bedi has a different take.
“I have very clearly stated responsibilities as per the financial rules besides administrative responsibilities. The Centre corroborated it in writing recently, but the CM rejected it.” While some ministers complained she was not okaying transfers of officials, she wondered who was holding back files cleared by her. “When an important file comes for approval it is my duty to examine it carefully and then forward to it to the CM. Files are stuck there. I have a long list. For instance, an IAS officer has been waiting for the last four months for a posting and another for over a year.”