The Puducherry Legislative Assembly was adjourned indefinitely even as the budget awaits the assent of the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had introduced the Budget Appropriation Bill on July 2 for Rs 7530 crore, after which it was sent to the Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for her assent, reports The Hindu. It was expected that the Lt. Governor would send it back by Thursday. But, on Thursday, the Speaker of the Puducherry Assembly, V Vaithilingam informed the House that the Bill has not yet returned from the Lt Governor. The house was adjourned until further notice, as per reports.
This has put the Puducherry Government in a financial fix since the salaries of the government employees cannot be disbursed until the Bill gets the Lt. Governorâ€™s nod.
TOI reports that Kiran Bedi's decision came after the Puducherry Government cut the Budget session short. While it was scheduled to go on till July 26, the session ended on July 19 and the House was adjourned without giving any date for resumption of the proceedings. This was also seen as an attempt to prevent BJP's nominated MLAs from entering the Assembly even after the Supreme Courtâ€™s order in their favour.
Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi had nominated three MLAs to the Assembly without seeking the recommendations of the Chief Minister. This had sparked the row between Narayanaswamy and Kiran Bedi.
The Madras High Court had upheld the nomination of three BJP MLAs by the Lt Governor in March. The Puducherry Government went on to appeal against the High Courtâ€™s order in the Supreme Court. The apex court, on Thursday, observed that it had expected the government to let the MLAs enter the Assembly and function.
Meanwhile, Narayanaswamy accused Kiran Bedi of delaying giving assent to the bill, with the intention of bringing the Puducherry government to disrepute.
â€śWe passed the Bill in the Assembly and sent it for Lieutenant Governor's assent three days ago. She returned it seeking few queries. We submitted clarifications. She declared that she is actively considering giving assent to the Bill. The Assembly was adjourned sine die on Thursday. By withholding the Bill, the Lt Governor has a hidden agenda of bringing disrepute to the Congress government,â€ť stated the CM.
He also said, â€śWe are not sure whether she is acting on her own or instigated by the Centre of BJP party. She is responsible for all the consequences on the delay in giving assent to the Bill.â€ť
This is not the first time, however, that the Chief Minister and the Lt Governor are at loggerheads in the Union Territory. In fact, when the Supreme Court delivered a favourable verdict to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the Lt Governor, Naryanaswamy hoped that the ruling will be applicable to Puducherry as well.