Read Editorial with D2G – Ep 512

Read Editorial with D2G – Ep 512

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End of an innings: On Kiran Bedi’s ouster

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Meanings are given in BOLD

The removal of Kiran Bedi as Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor has provided a sense of relief to the elected government, led by the Congress, in the Union Territory. Her acrimonious ( angry and bitter ) relationship with Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy over the last four and a half years, eventually led the Centre to being forced to act against its own nominee to enable smooth administration at a time when the announcement of the Assembly elections is just round the corner.

Despite her laying emphasis ( stress given to a word or words when speaking to indicate particular importance ) on sanitation, rejuvenation ( the action or process of giving new energy or vigour to something ) of waterbodies, and transparency and accountability in the administration, Ms. Bedi ended up, in the eyes of the public, being someone who was disrupting administration.

Her many differences with the CM were well known. Be it the suspension of an official over obscenity ( the state or quality of being obscene ) on social media, the helmet rule for two-wheeler riders, the free rice scheme, the appointment of the State Election Commissioner, the quota for government students in medical admission, or even the manner of release of money from the CM’s Fund, she was caught up in a war of words with the CM instead of being more discreet ( careful and prudent in one’s speech or actions, especially in order to keep something confidential or to avoid embarrassment ).

She should have shown more restraint ( a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control ) as a constitutional functionary and adopted a consensual ( relating to or involving consent or consensus ) approach on matters affecting the people directly, even though the Lt. Governor in a Union Territory, as the President’s nominee, enjoys powers superior to those of the CM and the Council of Ministers.

Though it was an amusing ( causing laughter and providing entertainment ) sight of the CM holding “dharnas”, not once but twice in the last couple of years, the fault was not entirely his own. All along, he regarded the Lt. Governor as a political adversary ( one’s opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute ), with his political activity centred ( (of a person) well balanced and confident or serene ) around her.

His demand for her ouster ( dismissal or expulsion from a position ) grew louder in recent months. It is likely that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which aims to build a base in Puducherry, concluded ( bring or come to an end ) that her continuation in office in the backdrop of the Assembly elections could prove a political liability ( the state of being legally responsible for something ).

Her exit comes at a time when Puducherry is in the midst ( the middle part or point ) of political instability ( the state of being unstable; lack of stability ). The strength of the Congress-led coalition (including the Speaker) is now on a par with that of the Opposition, after four party MLAs, including two Ministers, quit the Assembly since January. On assuming charge as the officiating ( act as an official in charge of something ) Lt. Governor on Thursday, Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Telangana Governor, ordered a floor test to be held on February 22.

Dr. Soundararajan, who is perceived ( become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand ) to be cordial ( warm and friendly ) towards political leaders of all hues, is expected to restore some measure of cohesion between Raj Nivas and the rest of the official machinery, irrespective of the outcome of the floor test. Ms. Bedi’s innings in Puducherry should serve as a lesson to those in constitutional positions that however well meaning one’s actions may be, one should not go beyond the mandated role.

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