Lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi, who has locked horns with the Congress government in the Union territory, has declared that she will relinquish office on May 29, 2018 when she completes two years in Puducherry. In an open letter to Puducherry people she said she had already informed her seniors about her decision.
“I want to tell you that as long as I have the responsibility of working here I shall ensure integrity and rule of law without fear or favour. I will strive to leave Puducherry clean, safe and prosperous,” she said in the letter.
The bitter power tussle Bedi and the Congress government escalated after Bedi cancelled the chief minister V Narayanasamy’s circular banning use of social media for official work. Congress MLAs reacted strongly urging the Union home minister Rajnath Singh to direct Bedi to act in conformity with the decisions taken by an elected government and not act arbitrarily in a dictatorship style.
In her letter, Bedi stressed that that final power and responsibility in areas of finance, service or policy matters rest with the Lt Governor of a Union territory. “This UT has an elected State Assembly which has powers to legislate as per the State and Concurrent list. I am happy to support them in this as long the law is not in conflict with a Central Law. This is my responsibility under the Law. I am fully accountable. I enjoy no immunity as an LG. But, State governors do enjoy. This is because I am an administrator of this UT also,” she said.
She said she tried to fulfill her responsibilities for the last seven months and ensured fairness and financial prudence as was expected of her position. “I have promoted rule of law as you may have observed. In my eyes all are equal before the law howsoever mighty he or she may be,” she said
Bedi said she tried to mentor, groom and inspire public officials to do their duty in a better way. “My approach was not to punish but help to perform, inspire and support,” she said.
She added she also tried to bring about strong coordination among all ranks and all departments. “This was my duty to do. We shall continue to do so. I have more plans to strengthen it,” she said.
She said she had launched public grievances redressal systems by opening Raj Nivas for common people to sort out their long pending issues. Raj Nivas is not a post office, but a decisive office, she said. She spent all mornings of the weekends visiting problem-affected areas to arrive at solutions.
“I have exercised financial prudence and not allowed any diversion of funds. Despite this I have had complaints of abuse. Public money must be deployed where they are most needed. I have wanted good balance between urban and rural budgeting, which is heavily in favour of urban amenities only,” she said.