Puducherry, Jan 24 (PTI) The verbal sparring between the Puducherry government and Lt Governor Kiran Bedi continued with Labour Minister M Kandasamy on Friday alleging that the recent announcement over proposed closure of the government run AFT Mill on April 30 was done under pressure from her.
In a releasehere, the minister declared as "illegal and inoperative" the notice issued on January 21 by the Anglo French Textile mill Managing Director that it would be closed. He alleged that the AFT Managing Director had issued the closure notice "under pressure and directions of the Lt Governor".
Kandasamy said neither the cabinet nor the Chief Minister had issued any instructions to close the mill.Hence the notice was 'ultra vires and has no sanction of the rules governing the working of the mill", he said.
The Minister said the cabinet had taken a decision some time back that AFT should continue to function in the workers' interests and those opting for Voluntary Retirement Scheme should be permitted to take it if they chose to do so.
But no step should be taken at any stage to close the undertaking of the territorial administration, Kandasamy said. He said the decision to close AFT was taken without the knowledge of the Ministry, the Chief Minister or the Minister concerned and violated the rules relating to the administration of the mill issued in 1986.
The Minister said the differences of opinion between the cabinet and the Lt Governor on the matter had been referred to the Home Ministry for clarification.
"Until the Ministry`s decision is known, nothing should be done to close the mill. The closure notice issued by the official was illegal and inoperative", Kandasamy said.
On Thursday, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Bedi on various issues, accused her of intimidating and pressuring officers of the century-old mill and giving directions to them to close it.
However, Bedi, in an official release, had said the Labour Department would hold an enquiry into the future of the mill and enlist the views of its management, workmen and others, including the bankers who extended loans to the mill.
She said that on the basis of the enquiry, the Labour Department would arrive at a conclusion. The enquiry would go into the genuineness and adequacy of the reasons stated in the notice submitted by the MD on January 21 seeking government permission to close AFT under provisions of the Negotiable Instruments Act,the release said.
PTI COR APR