Tamil Nadu

Raj Bhavan’s statement intimidating, says Stalin

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Opposition leader M.K. Stalin on Sunday condemned the statement issued by the Raj Bhavan warning of legal action against any attempt to lay siege to its campus, saying it was in an “intimidating” tone.

“The Governor has sought to play direct politics by going beyond and against the Constitution,” Mr. Stalin said in a statement adding that the DMK would not be cowed down by such threats and would continue its fight to protect the State’s autonomy.

Reacting to the Raj Bhavan’s claim that he had used the word “review” [undertaken by the Governor] in an attempt to mislead the people, Mr. Stalin questioned as to what would be the meaning of the meeting chaired by the Governor and attended by the district Collector and officials of other departments. “There is no clear explanation in the communication from the Raj Bhavan,” he said.

He said the word “review” was used not just by the DMK but by the entire media that reported the visit of the Governor to districts. The Governor himself would have read the news in newspapers that the “Governor attended review meetings.”

“So far, the Raj Bhavan has not sent any communication to newspaper offices advising them to desist from using the word review,” he said and claimed that that the DMK had never organised black flag protests when the Governor participated in events in his personal capacity and as Chancellor of various universities.

The DMK, Mr. Stalin said, protested only when the Governor organised meetings of officials in districts against the Constitution and sought to interfere with the rights of the democratically elected State government.

Stating that federalism was the gift of the Constitution, Mr. Stalin said the DMK would not accept anyone who interfered with it by taking in hand the power not vested on him or her and relegated to the second place an elected government.

“The DMK will not run away from its responsibility and the Governor should understand it,” he said.

‘DMK’s objection valid’

Referring to the argument of the Raj Bhavan that the Governor was protected under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code and “any attempt to overawe or assault or use criminal force will be dealt with as per the law”, Mr. Stalin said it was an attempt to intimidate the DMK.

“If the Governor read Article 163 of the Constitution and the orders delivered by the Supreme Court on the matter, he will realise the validity of the DMK’s objection,” he said.

Pointing out that Governors in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal and former Governors in Tamil Nadu had not organised review meetings, Mr. Stalin said the Constitution had not given any power to run dual governments – one run from the Secretariat and another from the Raj Bhavan.

Mr. Stalin said though the DMK was against the Governor’s post, it would respect the position as long as it was part of the Constitution. “Since the Governor is a representative of the BJP government at the Centre, people feel that he is doing what is expected of the State president of the BJP. I wish to convey that the people and the media are aware that the Governor, through his review meeting, is seeking to help the BJP’s vote bank politics,” he alleged.

Reacting to the assertion that the review would continue, Mr. Stalin said though Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and the AIADMK government would not have the courage to stand up to the Raj Bhavan and the BJP government at the Centre, the DMK would not be cowed by the empty threats. “The DMK will continue to fight to protect federalism and State autonomy, its core ideology,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Guindy police have registered a case against the DMK leader and others for unlawful assembly.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:27:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/raj-bhavans-statement-intimidating/article24248465.ece

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