Business Standard

3 nominated MLAs allowed to attend Assembly proceedings


Press Trust of India Puducherry
The standoff between Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and the government over allowing the 3 nominated MLAs to attend the assembly on August 1, when it has been reconvened and is expected to pass the crucial Appropriation Bill 2018, ended today with the Speaker granting permission.
The Bill had been cleared by the Lt Governor on July 21 with a rider that these MLAs be allowed to attend the House proceedings.
Secretary to the Assembly A Vincent Rayartold PTI that the Speaker, V Vaithilingam, had granted them permission to participate in the proceedings and they had been informed of it through separate letters.
He said that the letters, informing the MLAs of the green signal given by the Speaker for their participation, was delivered through a special messenger at their homes.
The session has been reconvened by the Speaker tomorrow to introduce and adopt the Appropriation Bill 2018, which would mean adoption of the Rs 7,635 crore budget the Chief Minister had placed on the table of the House on July 2.
Earlier a release from the Vincent Rayar said the House has been reconvened to meet at 9.30 AM tomorrow.
Though the release does not mention the agenda, official sources told PTI that the House was expected to adopt the Appropriation Bill, marking completion of the budget process.
The assembly was adjourned sine die on July 19 after a 13-day budget session with the government unable to introduce the Appropriation Bill, which authorises withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund to meet expenditure of various departments, for want of clearance from Bedi then.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had then accused the Lt Governor of deliberately withholding approval for the bill.
However, Bedi cleared the bill on July 21 with a rider that the three nominated MLAs, whose appointment has been challenged by Congress leaders in Supreme Court, be allowed to attend the assembly proceedings as per an interim order of the apex court.
The Congress government has opposed the appointment of the three BJP functionaries as MLAs by the Centre on the ground it was not consulted.
Though Bedi had inducted them as MLAs on July 4 last year in the Raj Nivas, Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam has refused to recognise them as legislators, saying they were not nominated by the competent authority.
After the House adjourned sine die without adopting the appropriation bill, apprehension surfaced among government staff and pensioners on whether they would be able to get July salary and pension as usual on the last working day of the month.
However, salary and pension were disbursed today after the Finance Department yesterday directed the Directorate of Accounts and Treasuries to admit pay and pension bills.
Bedi had conveyed on July 21 her nod to the Assembly for introducing and adopting the Appropriation Bill, subject to the condition that the three nominated MLAs (V Saminathan, K G Shankar and S Selva Ganapathy) were permitted to attend and participate in the proceedings of the House.
The Supreme Court, while refusing to stay a Madras High Court order upholding their nomination, had on July 19 asked the Assembly speaker to allow the three nominated BJP leaders to function as MLAs.

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First Published: Jul 31 2018 | 10:00 PM IST

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