Puducherry Lt Governor, CM in war of words over law and order

Chief Minister N Rangasamy said the former should have held a joint meeting of officials with him before airing such views.

Puducherry: Days after Lt Governor Virendra Kataria made critical observations about the law and order situation in the union territory of Puducherry, Chief Minister N Rangasamy on Monday said the former should have held a joint meeting of officials with him before airing such views.

However, the Lt Governor stuck to his critical remarks and shot down the suggestion about the joint meeting, saying it was the duty of the Chief Minister to take steps and apprise him of the action and take his advice.

When reporters drew his attention to Kataria`s recent reported remarks that the Chief Minister had not discussed with him the law and order situation though he met him on several occasions, Rangasamy said the Lt Governor should have convened a joint meeting with him and discussed the issue.

He asserted that the government would not be slack in handling anti-social elements.

Reacting to Rangasamy`s remarks, Kataria said he had no intention to enter into any argument with anybody and had no grouse against anyone much less the Chief Minister.

"There are already reports in the media about activities of anti-social elements," Kataria said, seeking to know whether the Chief Minister had not read them.

"He had been meeting me several times but never discussed the law and order situation and the action taken to curb the activities of the rowdy elements," the Lt Governor said pointing out that Madras High Court too had made critical remarks about growing goondas activities in Puducherry.

"The Chief Minister has the duty to protect the person and properties of the people. Let us concentrate on development of Puducherry ensuring law and order and giving something positive for the state," he said.

Replying to a question, Kataria said he was not in favour of keeping the Assembly in suspended animation. "The elected Chief Minister should work for the improvement of the State," he said.

Kataria also expressed displeasure over the "failure" of the AINRC Government to utilise the Central funds for various schemes.
He referred to allocation of Rs 80 crores for tourism development. This was not utilised and the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullapally Ramachandran had written a letter conveying non-utilisation of funds by the Puducherry Government, he added.