13:53 GMT28 February 2021
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    Puducherry's Congress Party-led government has been in a minority since a close aide of state chief Velu Narayanasamy resigned as an assembly member on Tuesday. The development comes in the run-up to state assembly elections where Bharatiya Janata Party allied with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam aims to wrest power from Congress.

    Political turmoil in Puducherry has deepened since the office of the Indian President ordered Kiran Bedi, a former top cop, to be removed from the post of Lieutenant-Governor on in a sudden development on Tuesday night. Bedi's departure has been hailed by Puducherry state chief Velu Narayanasamy as a "victory for the people". Bedi and Narayanasamy had been at loggerheads over a range of issues related to governance.

    Narayanasamy had earlier accused Bedi of "unconstitutional behaviour, interfering in the day-to-day activities of the administration, ignoring the elected government and not following rules and procedures."

    The ruling party had also organised a petition for her to be removed. Bedi, while quitting office, said in her departure note that she had fulfilled her constitutional and moral duties.

    ​Bedi's removal has come immediately after the Congress government lost its majority in the assembly as one of its legislators John Kumar resigned on Tuesday, a day after health minister Malladi Krishna Rao sent in his resignation. 

    As the political drama unfolded in the state, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived in Puducherry to meet local fishermen and leaders.

    ​Puducherry has been plunged into political turmoil ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in May this year.


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