Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Thursday slammed Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for 'directing' his government to slash grants to aided schools in the Union Territory in a phased manner, saying she has no authority and the move would affect the institutions.
Speaking to reporters here, he said Bedi had returned the file sent by his government for approval of grants to privately-managed aided schools and that "such a sudden stand on the part of the Lt governor causes embarrassment."
"Lt Governor has no authority to question the pattern of grants and has also no right to interfere and direct slashing of grants in a phased manner as done now," he said.
Narayanasamy, who has locked horns with Bedi over various issues, claimed that the practice of granting funds to aided schools has been in vogue since 1957 to enable the private managements to meet their commitments, including paying salaries to serving teachers and pension to retired staff.
Calling the Lt Governor's direction to slash grants to private schools as "utterly unjustified," he said the role of such schools in ameliorating educational standards of the poor students would be hit.
Noting that there were 35 private schools in the Union Territory catering to nearly 27,000 students, the Chief Minister said the approval of the Lt Governor had been available every two months for grants.
"But now the Lt Governor has asked the government to reduce the grants in a phased manner and this is causing embarrassment to the government," he added.
Bedi and the Congress government have been at loggerheads over various issues with the recent being the 'standing order' issued by the Chief Minister to all officials to ignore the circular of the Finance Secretary on expenditure management, claiming it was not in conformity with the Union Territories Act.
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