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Published On: Sat, Apr 28th, 2018

LG Kiran Bedi issues ‘no toilet, no free rice’

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27bedi1PUDUCERY : After huge outrage, and facing  flak from political parties, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday withdrew a controversial announcement threatening to suspend supply of free rice to villagers in the union territory, if the villages failed to get a certificate stating they were open-defecation free and garbage free before May 31.
Earlier in the day, Bedi had said that the territorial government’s free rice scheme would be operated in rural areas only after local MLAs and commune panchayat commissioners certify that the hamlets are open defecation free and garbage free by May 31.

Ms Bedi told the administration that community leaders in rural areas were vociferous and proactive to seek better facilities from the government but did not show the same enthusiasm for the sanitation campaigns under the Swachh Bharat programme.

Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanaswamy had also slammed Bedi, saying she was meddling with the fundamental rights of Puducherry’s residents. The move triggered sharp attacks from the Congress that called it “dictatorial”.
“In Puducherry, most of the rural villages are clean. There are problems in a few villages which we will concentrate upon. For that, the administrator without knowing the implication of the instructions she has given, she is trying to meddle with the rights of the people for which she has no power.” said the Chief Minister .

However, withdrawing the order, Bedi said that the intention of her direction in linking rural Open Defecation and cleanliness with free rice distribution is ‘NOT To DENY ‘any poor persons of their entitlement.

 

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