End to Puducherry faceoff in sight

End to Puducherry faceoff in sight

S Murari

An end was in sight on Sunday to the faceoff between Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi following a meeting between the two at Raj Nivas on Sunday.

Narayanaswamy, whose dharna outside Raj Nivas in protest against the Lt Governor entered the firth day, accepted her invitation for talk after she agreed to make it a high-level official meeting with secretaries of all departments in attendance so that all outstanding issues could be discussed and resolved.

The dharna itself was climaxed nearly three year tussle between the two power centres, an elected Chief Minister and a Lt Governor who as administrator of the Union Territory has more powers than Governor of a full-fledged State.

As West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and M Chandrabu Naidu said while telephoning Narayanaswamy on Sunday to extend to support to his agitation, Bedi was another tool in the hands of the Modi Government to destabilise opposition run governments. Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu and DMK president MK Stalin also supported Narayanaswamy.

Even before the entire opposition in the country rallied behind Narayanaswamy, Bedi was taken aback when he took it to the streets by sitting in a dharna outside Raj Nivas.

She immediately invited him for talks and fixed Feb 21, saying she needed time to study the files. However, Narayanaswamy rejected the offer saying that these files were pending with her for a long time and she should prove her earnest by clearing at least some of them.

Immediately after the dharna started, she flew to New Delhi to take instructions even as Narayanaswamy also petitioned the President while Territorial Assembly Speaker Vaithalaingam asked the Home Minister to appoint an interim administrator or send a representative to resolve the deadlock.

Having proved a point, Narayanaswamy accepted Bedi’s invitation and met her at Raj Nivas, indicating that an end to the faceoff was in sight