On Tuesday, President of India Ram Nath Kovind removed Dr Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry and gave the Governor of Telangana Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, the additional charge of the union territory.
A statement that was released said: “The President has directed that Dr Kiran Bedi shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry and has appointed Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana, to discharge the functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry are made.”
Bedi’s removal during a time of political turmoil in Puducherry and witnessed the ruling Congress government being reduced to a minority after one its MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly) resigned from the Assembly.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had been requesting for Bedi’s removal, claiming that she was interfering with the elected government’s administration and was causing hurdles in its way. He had even started a sit-in protest in January and last week had visited the President to request her removal.
Narayanasamy said, “Due to pressure from us, the Government of India has removed Dr Kiran Bedi. This is a great victory for the people of Puducherry. She hampered the growth here by her attitude of blocking welfare schemes.”
According to the Indian newspaper The Indian Express, the ruling Congress-DMK alliance and the opposition AIADMK-BJP alliance now have 14 MLAs each in the House that has a current effective strength of 28. On Tuesday, the opposition demanded the government’s resignation. However, CM Narayanasamy replied that he had retained the majority.
A day after her removal, Bedi thanked the Indian government for “a lifetime experience.” She said: “Whatever was done, was a sacred duty, fulfilling my constitutional and moral responsibilities.”