Puducherry CM, L-G clash over New Year's Eve celebrations; Narayanasamy asks Bedi not to be a party to issues raised by Opposition

Puducherry CM, L-G clash over New Year's Eve celebrations; Narayanasamy asks Bedi not to be a party to issues raised by Opposition

Puducherry CM, L-G clash over New Year's Eve celebrations; Narayanasamy asks Bedi not to be a party to issues raised by Opposition

Puducherry: Firing a fresh salvo, Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy has asked Lt Governor Kiran Bedi not to be a party to political parties raising issues to cause problems to the government. Narayanasamy was replying to the letter he had received from Bedi on 24 December bringing to his notice the demand made by the opposition AIADMK to her to ban New Year's Eve celebrations on the beach road in Puducherry.

The chief minister said the State Disaster ManagementAuthority (SDMA), headed by him, had through a meeting on 22 December permitted the celebrations subject to basic safety norms highlighted by the Union Health and Home Ministries. He said the occurrence of COVID-19 had come down in the Union Territory.

There was no fatality during the last three days due to the virus. Test positivity rate was also less than one percent against the national average of 1.5 percent and three percent all over the globe, the chief minister said. The recovery rate in Puducherry was 97.42 percent and the fatality rate 1.66 percent.

"COVID-19 is now under control in Puducherry because of the steps taken by ministers, legislators, health authorities, and others including the Lt Governor. In the circumstances, the Lt Governor has no independent right to make in a pre-determined manner an announcement banning celebrations of New Year's Eve on the beach road through social media," he said.

Narayanasamy said the Madras High court had also clarified in its verdict in 2018 that the Lt Governor had no independent authority to issue any order or directions. "The job of the opposition parties here is to create issues and cause problems to the government. Lt Governor should not be a party to the political issues raised by them," he said.

"The order issued by the SDMA permitting the celebration of New Year on the beach road, therefore, holds good," he pointed out in his missive to the Lt Governor, copy of which was released to the media on Saturday. He said he had very clearly informed the Lt Governor through his letter that she had no independent right to issue any orders and should refrain from interfering in the day-to-day administration.

Bedi had objected to the Congress government allowing the New Year celebrations here in view of the pandemic and urged Narayanasamy to ban them. Bedi, in a letter to him, said as neighboring Tamil Nadu has banned the celebrations in public places, the UnionTerritory would draw people from there and the good work done to contain the virus spread was likely to be at peril.

The matter brought to fore another instance of disagreement between the two, often at loggerheads over various matters, as the Chief Minister asserted the celebrations would go on with COVID-19 protocol.