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Assembly to reconvene tomorrow amid standoff over nominated

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Press Trust of India Puducherry
The Puducherry Assembly has been reconvened to meet tomorrow when it is expected to pass the crucial Appropriation Bill 2018, which has been cleared by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi with a condition that 3 nominated MLAs be allowed to attend the House proceedings.
A release from Secretary to the Assembly A Vincent Rayar said the House has been reconvened to meet at 9.30 am tomorrow.
Although 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.
It is to be seen whether the three MLAs would be allowed to attend the proceedings, which has become a bone of contention between the Congress government and the Centre.
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 billapprehension 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 July21 her nod to the Assembly for introducing and adopting the Appropriation Billsubject 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 | 3:45 PM IST

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