Bedi's conditional assent on Appropriaton Bill; Stalin expresses shock

By PTI Published on Jul 23, 2018 11:06 AM IST

Chennai: DMK today expressed 'shock' over Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi's conditional assent to the union territory's Appropriation Bill, saying such acts destroyed the sanctity of the assembly.

In a statement here, DMK working president M K Stalin also demanded that the union territory be given separate statehood to ensure implementation of welfare schemes and to avoid confusions arising out of power tussles between the union territory and the Centre.

Bedi yesterday approved the Appropriation Bill that would allow the government to withdraw funds for its expenditure, but with a rider that the three BJP leaders nominated to the House be allowed to function as MLAs.

Last week, the assembly was adjourned sine-die without passing the bill for want of approval, and Chief Minister V Nayaranasamy had accused Bedi of deliberately withholding her nod for the financial legislation.

"The LG's move has shocked me and such act destroys the sanctity of the assembly," Stalin said. Accusing Bedi and the Central government for 'sitting' on the budget for their own benefits, he said such an attitude 'disrespected' principles of democracy.

"To protect welfare schemes from confusions arising out of power tussles, Puducherry should be given statehood," Stalin, whose party is an ally of Congress, said.

The ruling Congress in the union territory has been making the statehood demand with Chief Minister Narayanasamy citing 'delay' in getting approvals from Bedi for the government's welfare schemes to push for the status.

Amid the protracted stand-off with the Chief Minister, Bedi approved the passage of Appropriation Bill last night. In a communication to the assembly, Bedi asked the House to pass the bill only after ensuring compliance of the Supreme Court order allowing the three nominated MLAs to attend the proceedings.

The Union Home Ministry had appointed the three functionaries of the BJP as nominated MLAs in June last year. However, Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam had refused to recognise their appointment on the ground that they were not nominated by competent authority.

The three were, however, inducted as nominated MLAs by Bedi at Raj Nivas on July 4 last year. Subsequently, their appointment was challenged in the Madras High Court which upheld it. This has been challenged in the Supreme Court, which in its recent order directed that they be allowed to attend the assembly session.