Kiran Bedi differs with Puducherry CM, says SEC’s appointment should be after due process

The Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry was reacting to the Chief Minister’s statement that T.M. Balakrishnan would continue as the State Election Commissioner

Published - January 01, 2020 04:44 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi

Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi

Shortly after Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy’s stated that former bureaucrat T. M Balakrishnan would continue as State Election Commissioner (SEC), Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi on Wednesday said the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed the Chief Secretary to appoint the SEC “after due process,” to oversee the local body elections.

Ms. Bedi, in a WhatsApp message to reporters, said “The Government of India has directed the Chief Secretary to appoint a State Election Commissioner only after a due process to oversee conducting of the local body elections as against a person nominated by the Chief Minister without a due process and against the rules.” The MHA has directed the Chief Secretary to “select an officer by an open selection and not nomination as done by the Chief Minister.”

On the Chief Minister’s remark that the direction from the Lt Governor should be dumped to the dustbin, Ms Bedi said “the Chief Minister appears to be having repeated problems with his choice of words.”

The Lt Governor said the Chief Minister’s contention that she was running a parallel government had been challenged in the Madras High Court. “This contention has already been challenged by MHA before the High Court. The judgement is reserved and expected any time soon. It might do him good to wait for the final verdict.”

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