Kiran Bedi removed as Governor of Puducherry as UT faces political turmoil


Kiran Bedi has been removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said on Tuesday.

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan will hold an additional charge of the Union Territory, it said.

However, Bedi’s removal came in the wake of the Union Territory witnessing political turmoil with a number of Congress legislators leaving the party in quick succession.

“The President has directed that Dr. Kiran Bedi shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry and has appointed Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana, to discharge the functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry are made,” the communique said.

Bedi’s removal comes in the wake of political turmoil in the state over the last few weeks. The Congress in Puducherry has seen four among its senior-most leaders and MLAs resign, including senior leader and former PWD minister A Namasivayam.

On Tuesday it’s Kamarajnagar MLA A. John Kumar also quit the party.

While Congress MLA Malladi Krishna Rao quit on February 15, former PWD Minister A. Namassivayamy and E.Theeppainjan resigned on January 25.

N. Dhanavelu, a Congress member, was disqualified in July last year for alleged anti-party activities.

With back-to-back resignations, Congress’s numbers dropped to way below the halfway mark and triggered a crisis. The Congress and DMK had a combined strength of 16 MLAs in the 30-member Puducherry assembly. The resignations have taken the Congress-led government to below 10 and the Opposition now has 14 MLAs.

However, sources close to the Chief Minister said the government in the UT is safe as the strength of the assembly has reduced. Puducherry is likely to go to polls along with other states in April-May this year.

Bedi joined India Against Corruption movement under Anna Hazare but parted ways with Arvind Kejriwal during the 2014 general election. She went on to publicly support Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party.

After Modi won and became the Prime Minister of India, Bedi joined the BJP and became the BJP’s CM candidate in Delhi in the 2015 assembly elections. But she lost the elections from the Krishna Nagar constituency to the Aam Aadmi Party candidate.