Ruling party’s allies roundly condemn Governor, but AIADMK, BJP hit back

Thol Thirumavalavan said Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi would launch a protest on January 13 by laying siege to the Raj Bhavan to demand that the Governor be recalled.   

Updated - January 10, 2023 04:57 pm IST

Published - January 09, 2023 09:40 pm IST - CHENNAI

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin addressing the Assembly on Monday.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin addressing the Assembly on Monday.

The ruling DMK’s allies as well as the PMK criticised Governor R.N. Ravi for skipping parts of the speech prepared by the Tamil Nadu government while addressing the Assembly on Monday. However, the AIADMK and the BJP came out in support of the Governor.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said Mr. Ravi had been consistently exceeding the powers bestowed upon the office of the Governor ever since he was appointed to the post, and added that he shirked his responsibility by refusing to read out portions of the speech prepared by the State government.

“It is the duty and responsibility of the Governor to read out the speech prepared by the State government. Refusing to read out certain words and including certain words is a blatant breach of law and traditions. Instead of calling this a challenge to the Tamil Nadu government, [I would say] this is a threat to the Constitution itself. The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee condemns it,” he said.

Mr. Alagiri wondered whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would accept a similar act by President Droupadi Murmu, and said the Governor’s actions had forced the hand of democratic parties to protest until he leaves his post.

VCK to lay siege to Raj Bhavan on Jan 13

VCK founder and Chidambaram MP Thol. Thirumavalavan said Mr. Ravi had been consistently making comments that contradicted the positions and policies of the State government. He said the Governor’s actions were a part of a conspiracy to create political confusion in the State.

Mr. Thirumavalavan said the party would launch a protest on January 13 by laying siege to the Raj Bhavan to demand that the Governor be recalled.   

“While delivering his speech, containing references to the State government’s schemes and policies, Mr. Ravi excluded some parts [of the speech] and included new ones.

In particular, the term ‘Dravida Model’ was excluded. He also refused to utter the names of Thanthai Periyar, Annal Ambedkar, Peruthalaivar Kamarajar and Perarignar Anna. He also excluded words such as equality, social justice, women’s empowerment and Dravidam.

This act not only belittles the Assembly, but also breaches the boundaries of the powers that have been bestowed upon him by the Constitution. There is no record of such instances of Governors acting in this manner in Tamil Nadu’s history,” he said.

“Though the Chief Minister also breached the traditions of the Assembly by registering his opposition, the Governor shouldn’t have walked out before the national anthem was played. It cannot be justified. He is the Constitutional head, and he should have respected the national anthem,” he added.

Does not add strength to democracy: PMK

PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss said Mr. Ravi had insulted the democratically-elected State government and the Assembly, but added that it was important for the Governor and the government to work together for the development of the State.

“The PMK doesn’t agree with certain words used by the State government, and Mr. Ravi might also have felt the same way. But reading out the speech prepared by the democratically-elected State government is the tradition. Mr. Ravi walking out of the Assembly after the Chief Minister tabled a resolution stating that only the printed speech should be placed in Assembly records, that too before the playing of the national anthem, doesn’t add any strength to democracy,” he said.

Governor must apologise: NTK

Naam Tamilar Katchi co-ordinator Seeman said Mr. Ravi, who had “no connection to Tamil Nadu or the Tamil people”, and was holding a post to which he was only appointed, had insulted the Tamil Nadu government and democratic ethos with his “cheap actions”. “He must make an unconditional apology to the Tamil Nadu government and the people,” he said.

Governor must change this tendency against the State: MNM

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan said Mr. Ravi had insulted the people of Tamil Nadu with his actions.

“The actions of the Governors in States where non-BJP governments are in power are riddled with controversy. In particular, Mr. Ravi has been making comments against the policy decisions of the democratically-elected State government and the people’s sentiments. He has also kept several Bills, which were passed in the Assembly, in abeyance for months. The MNM urges the Governor to change this tendency to stand against the State government and the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.  

Congress to seek removal of Governor

Congress Assembly floor leader K. Selvaperunthagai said he will introduce a Private Member’s resolution in the Assembly, calling for the removal of the Governor from his post.

Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said the Chief Minister’s decision to flag the breach of Assembly traditions and reiterate that only the printed speech, approved by the Governor, would feature in the Assembly records, made him the hero of the ‘Dravida Model’ government. 

Stalin’s actions are ‘indecent’ and ‘against tradition’: AIADMK

The AIADMK’s interim general secretary and Leader of the Opposition, Edappadi K. Palaniswami criticised the Chief Minister for making a speech in the Assembly even when the Governor was present.

Addressing the media, Mr. Palaniswami described Mr. Stalin’s actions as “indecent” and “against tradition”.

When asked to comment on the Governor leaving out certain portions of the text of his address, Mr. Palaniswami said, “Normally, at the beginning of the year, the government prepares the address and sends it to him [the Governor] for approval. We do not know what is present there and what is not.”

Expressing his disappointment over the contents of the Governor’s address, the AIADMK leader said this had reinforced the public’s criticism that the address was a note of “self-appreciation” of the government. He claimed that the law and order situation in the State had “deteriorated totally”.

A black spot in the history of Tamil Nadu: AMMK

In a series of tweets, AMMK general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran said the events during the Governor’s address in the Assembly were unfortunate.

The day’s events leave a black spot in the history of the Assembly,” he said. Before the text of the address was printed [for distribution among legislators], the Raj Bhavan and the government should have sorted out their differences, he said.

Though the AMMK followed the position of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai that there was no need for the post of Governor, the government should give due respect to the office as long as it existed, Mr. Dhinakaran said.

Personal attack on Governor; CM’s action disrespectful and amateurish: BJP

BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan described what happened in the Assembly as a “personal attack” on the Governor.

She said the State government should have taken up the issue of the omissions with the Governor’s office. “Is the State government trying to show its supremacy over the Governor? Do you want the Governor to speak only what you think?” she asked.

She said the incident showed that the State government did not maintain a cordial relationship with the Governor.

In a tweet, BJP Tamil Nadu president K. Annamalai said the Chief Minister “intervening” in the Governor’s address with a motion, when the latter was still in the Assembly, was disrespectful and amateurish. [The Chief Minister had moved the resolution after the Speaker’s Tamil translation of the Governor’s address.]

Governor must step down: MDMK

MDMK general secretary Vaiko said the Governor should step down, and if not, the President must remove him from his post.

n a statement, Mr. Vaiko contended that the Governor had breached the Assembly legacy by refusing to read the speech shared by the State government, and that making changes in the speech was condemnable. Such act of arrogance cannot be allowed in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Vaiko said and charged Mr. Ravi’s functioning had been against the norms prescribed by the Constitution.

The Governor projects himself as a safeguarder of Hindutva sanatan dharma and does not have any moral right to continue in the post, Mr. Vaiko said.

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