Kiran Bedi has been removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on late Tuesday night amid a political crisis in the union territory after the resignation of several Congress leaders from the V Narayanasamy government and just ahead of the assembly elections in April-May this year.
President Ram Nath Kovind said, according to a brief communique issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan late in the evening, that Bedi “shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry” and gave the additional charge of the Union territory to Telengana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.
“The President has directed that Dr. Kiran Bedi shall cease to hold the office of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry and has appointed Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana, to discharge the functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, with effect from the date she assumes charge of her office, until regular arrangements for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry are made,” the communique from the President’s office said.
The direction from the President comes amid the political crisis where the ruling Congress-led government has been reduced to a minority after one more MLA quit the party on Tuesday.
The President’s order also comes on a day the government led by Congress’ Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Bedi over a range of issues, was reduced to a minority after the resignation of legislator A John Kumar. He is the fourth Congress legislator to have quit over the last month. Kumar’s resignation came a day after health minister Malladi Krishna Rao also quit.