Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday welcomed the Madras High Court verdict which held that Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi "cannot interfere" in the day-to-day affairs of the elected government of the Union Territory, saying the Constitution is clear but the Modi government has "refused" to allow non-BJP elected governments to function.
In a setback to Bedi, the Madras High Court on Tuesday held that "the elected government functioning through the Council of Ministers cannot be defeated by the act of the Administrator... by way of interfering in the day to day affairs of the Government".
Reacting to the verdict, Kejriwal described Bedi as "Modi government's political nominee".
Bedi, who was part of Anna Hazare's Lokpal agitation, fell out with Kejriwal over the formation of Aam Aadmi Party in 2012. She later joined the BJP and was its chief ministerial candidate in 2015 Assembly polls, which the party lost. She was appointed as Lt Governor of Puducherry in May 2016.
"Welcome verdict by the Madras High Court stating unambiguously that Modi govt's political nominee Puducherry LG Ms Kiran Bedi has no power to interfere in elected government's functioning. Constitution is clear but Modi govt refused to allow non-BJP elected governments to function," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Welcome verdict by the Madras High Court stating unambiguously that Modi govt's political nominee Puducherry LG Ms Kiran Bedi has no power to interfere in elected govt's functioning. Constitution is clear but Modi govt refused to allow non-BJP elected govts to function— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 30, 2019
Kejriwal has had several run-ins with the Delhi LG on the issue of division of powers and has accused him of acting at the behest of the Centre to stall schemes of his government.
Referring to the Supreme Court judgement on the tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the judge said restrictions imposed on the Government of Delhi are not applicable to the Government of Puducherry.
"The apex court has clearly held that there is a distinction between the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Puducherry", the judge said.
Though Puducherry was not a state, the Legislative Assembly would have the same powers as that of a state, he said.
(With inputs from agencies)