Amid Row, Kiran Bedi Withdraws ‘No Toilets, No Rice’ Order


Puducherry: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday withdrew her controversial order stating the distribution of free rice to villagers in the Union Territory will be stopped if villages are not free from open defecation and garbage, after the diktat triggered a massive row.

Opposition parties had slammed the order, with Congress party’s senior leader Randeep Surjewala calling the move “anti-poor” and “dictatorial”. Previously, she had said that the free distribution of rice “shall be conditional to the certification of the village being open defecation free and free of strewn garbage and plastics by submitting a joint certificate given by the MLA and the Commune Commissioner to the Civil Supplies Commissioner.”

However, hours after the diktat created a furore, Bedi reportedly said in a statement that she was “withholding” the order as she wanted to give more time to people to implement it. Bedi had initially the given the deadline as May 31 for concerned authorities to make sure that the hamlets were “open defecation free” and free of garbage.