Wed, 26 Feb 2020

Puducherry [India], Jan 27 (ANI): Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, who is often at loggerheads with the state government, has accused Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy of refusing to honour the Padma awardees at an event in Raj Nivas on the occasion of Republic Day.

She also claimed that the Chief Minister shouted and argued with the official who requested him to present shawls to the Padma awardees.

"People of Puducherry need to know how their elected representatives disrespected their own Padma Awardees and also artists who came from Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal to perform here at Raj Nivas," read a statement from Governor.

"We invited both the Awardees so that Puducherrians get an immediate opportunity to greet these national heroes. Both the Padma Awardees were gracious to attend even at such short notice. Once present in the audience our Comptroller Raj Nivas Asha Gupta considered it respectful to recognise the presence of the Padma Awardees by requesting the Chief Minister to present a shawl to them," read the statement issues on Monday.

"She thought it would be befitting the occasion that the HCM does the honours. The Honourable Chief Minister instead of welcoming this offer in the presence of Mr Munisamy, the terracotta Padma Awardee shouted back and argued back, saying "how can it be done without his prior intimation and prior approval?" There was a great deal of embarrassment. This was right in the presence of select invitees and all the senior officers of the administration," it read.

She said that Narayansamy and his Cabinet colleagues left the venue without "normal courtesy" for taking leave.

"We tried to play it down by not reacting to the situation and moved on with our cultural event. Soon after the Chief Minister left without walking up to the host as a normal courtesy for taking leave for whatever compelling reason. On the contrary, the accompanying cabinet ministers also followed him in the same way," it read.

"We thanked the two Padma Awardees from Puducherry, Mr Manoj Dass Billingual Author with Padma Bhushan and PondyTerrocotta Artist VK Munusamy before select invitees at the At Home hosted on the evening of Republic Day," tweeted Bedi today.

"They ought to express their regret to two Padma Awardees,the JKArunachal Pradesh artists sent by Govt of India also. Besides to the office of Lt Gov for disrespecting the sanctity of a national event. This is not a desirable behaviour from persons in responsible positions," she said in her subsequent Tweet. (ANI)

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