Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy alleged on Friday that Lt Governor Kiren Bedi had vetoed the Government decision to give free rice under the PDS instead of cash.
Talking to reporters after meeting Bedi at Raj Nivas and handing over copy of a resolution unanimously passed by the Territorial Assembly to give rice instead cash to people covered by the PDS, Narayanasamy said the Lt Governor insisted that only money should be given to the people under the Central scheme and it should be directly remitted into the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
The Assembly adopted the resolution only because the Lt Governor insisted on cash payment. The Chief Minister told the House that the Government had decided to give rice as money was liable to be misused. He also said people themselves preferred rice to cash. Accordingly the Cabinet in June decided to give 20 kg of rice free to those below the poverty line and 10 kg those who are above the BPL.
But Bedi stuck to her decision despite the resolution, though the Government had already earmarked Rs 160 crore for the scheme, Narayanasamy said.