Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopts all 10 bills denied assent by Governor Ravi

Chief Minister Stalin alleged that the Governor was working against the interests of Tamil Nadu and could not stomach its all-round development

November 18, 2023 12:07 pm | Updated November 19, 2023 12:01 am IST

“The Assembly feels that withholding the assent and returning them without giving any reason is not acceptable,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in the special session of the Assembly, in Chennai on November 18, 2023.

“The Assembly feels that withholding the assent and returning them without giving any reason is not acceptable,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in the special session of the Assembly, in Chennai on November 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted the resolution moved by Chief Minister M.K.. Stalin for reconsidering and passing the 10 Bills for which Governor R.N. Ravi had withheld assent for. Members of the AIADMK and the BJP were not present in the House when the resolution was taken up for voting.

Of the 10, two Bills were passed by the 15th Assembly during the AIADMK regime and eight by the 16th Assembly and were immediately sent to the Governor for his assent.

Mr. Stalin alleged that the Governor was working against the interests of the State and could not stomach its all-round development.

“The Governor has kept the Bills for a long time and on November 13, 2023, without giving any reasons returned the Bills, mentioning ‘I withhold Assent’. The Assembly feels that withholding the assent and returning them without giving any reason is not acceptable,” said the Chief Minister in the special session of the Assembly.

‘Governor’s act illegal, anti-people and against sovereignty of Assembly’

Mr. Stalin on said the decision to withhold assent to the Bills adopted by the State Assembly was “illegal, anti-people, against his conscience and above all, against the sovereignty of the Assembly.”

While moving the government resolution for reconsidering and passing those resolutions, Mr. Stalin said a Governor could extend help to the development of the State and make use of his proximity to the Centre to get funding for State projects, construction of building for AIIMS in Madurai, get the pending GST amount due to Tamil Nadu and new railway projects.

Mr. Stalin said the Tamil Nadu Governor should act as a bridge between the State government and the Centre. “But without doing any of these, everyday he is planning and placing hurdles for the State government’s schemes,” he alleged.

Mr. Stalin accused the Governor of adopting a confrontational approach with the government which, he said, was against the Constitution. “The government has written to the President of the country to advise the Governor in an appropriate manner. MPs from the State had met the President and made a request. We have also approached the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr. Stalin alleged that the DMK government was driven by the goal of people’s welfare and secured a place in people’s minds through its pioneering schemes.

Mr. Stalin also said the Governor assembles some people on a daily basis at the Raj Bhavan and takes classes for them. “He is teaching them wrong lessons,” he quipped.

The Chief Minister said he had no objection to the Governor attending functions. “But he is articulating unnecessary views. It is unbecoming of the Governor to discuss and explain the government’s policy on public platforms,” the Chief Minister pointed out.

Alleging that the Governor was not able to accept the fact that the people of Tamil Nadu cherished the ideas of Dravidianism, socialism, social justice, rationalism and self-respect, he said Mr. Ravi was expressing an opinion against Tamil culture, literature and social order.

The Chief Minister said the views of the Governor had made it clear to everyone that he had problems not just with the Assembly or the Bills adopted by it, but also against the idea of social justice. “That is why he is creating stumbling blocks,” he added.

Mr. Stalin said even though “we have made the Governor understand our stand, neutral people were of the opinion that the Governor was not able to stomach the development of Tamil Nadu.”

Explained | Governor R.N Ravi vs. M.K. Stalin’s government in Tamil Nadu: a timeline of events

Mr. Stalin said the views expressed by the Supreme Court against the functioning of the Governor was a first victory for the Assembly. “When the matter is pending before the court, the Governor has returned the Bills and files in a hurried manner without giving his consent,” he said.

Reiterating that the Constitution had vested absolute power on the Assembly elected by the people and the Assembly under proviso article 200 of the Constitution passed the Bill is passed again with or without amendment and presented to the Governor for assent, the Governor shall not withhold assent therefrom. 

“Only on the basis, all the 10 Bills are placed before the House for reconsidering and passing,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said though the Governor post had to be dispensed with, in democracy it should be respected so long as it was allowed to continue.

Accusing the BJP government of using Governors to create trouble in non-BJP ruling states, Mr. Stalin said the Governor had returned the Bills and enacted a drama of giving consent to them after the Supreme Court had indicted him.

“He is doing what he knows. But we follow the Constitution. I request the members of the House to reconsider and adopt the 10 resolutions returned by the Governor with the note that he had withheld consent for them,” the Chief Minister said.

As per rule 143, when a Bill which has been passed by the Assembly is returned by the Governor to the Assembly for reconsideration the point or points referred for reconsideration or the amendments recommended by the Governor shall be put before the Assembly by the Speaker and shall be discussed and voted upon in the same manner as amendments to a Bill, or in such other manner as the Speaker may consider most convenient for their consideration by the Assembly.

Most of the Bills for which the Governor had withheld assent are related to a proposal to amend the statutes of certain State universities to enable the Chief Minister to take over the role of the Chancellor, replacing the Governor.

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