Kiran Bedi Accuses Puducherry CM Of Threatening Officials Over Pongal Gifts


Kiran Bedi also alleged the Chief Minister was misrepresenting information (File)


In an escalation of the row over the Pongal gift hamper scheme, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Wednesday released a copy of a document to support her stand that it was meant only for BPL people and accused Chief Minister V Narayanasamy of threatening officials.

In tweets and a message to the media, she attached a copy of the document titled "Rules for the scheme for distribution of festival items at free of cost etc in Union Territory of Puducherry" and said as per it the Pongal scheme was only for below poverty line (BPL) people.

"See d documents by which d scheme for free Pongal gifts is only for Below Poverty ppl & absolute poor. NOT for APL which is above poverty. HCM wants FOR ALL which is not the notified scheme of which he too is part of the decision. C his signatures of endorsement," she tweeted.

In another tweet, she tagged a media report on Mr Narayanasamy's reported remarks that days "are numbered for Bedi" (in Puducherry) and what would the officials do then (after her departure).

"Officers doing their duty with integrity and total commitment to the prosperity of Puducherry are being threatened by HCM. I do hope people of Puducherry will take care of them always…," she said.

She also alleged the Chief Minister was misrepresenting information as the office of the Lt Governor was coming in his way "from spending money where the scheme does not provide for and even when he is part of the decision."

Mr Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Ms Bedi on various issues, had Tuesday said he has returned the file on the Pongal gift hamper scheme, protesting the 'arbitrary' decision of Ms Bedi to restrict it's coverage to BPL families.

He had also said the Lt Governor had "no authority" to take a decision contrary to the proposal of the government to extend the benefits of the scheme to all ration card holders, including above poverty line (APL) families.

His cabinet did not accept the 'modification' made by Ms Bedi to the government's proposal and returned the file to her, he had said.

Reacting to his remarks, Ms Bedi had on Tuesday charged Mr Narayanasamy with using public platforms to spread 'false information' and said he was party to a decision taken last year that the scheme would be limited to BPL families only and not applicable to the APL families.

The gift hamper comprises essential items like rice, jaggery and cashew nuts required for making 'Pongal' (a sweet delicacy,) offered to Sun God on the occasion of harvest festival, which falls on January 15.

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