R.N. Ravi unfit to be T.N. Governor, CM Stalin says in letter to President Murmu

A Tamil Nadu government release said the letter followed Mr. Stalin’s earlier letters to the President, that were handed over by the State Law Minister, against Governor Ravi on January 12.

Updated - July 10, 2023 01:41 pm IST

Published - July 09, 2023 04:50 pm IST - CHENNAI

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. File

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. File | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a strongly worded representation to President Droupadi Murmu, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has said Governor R.N. Ravi, through his “biased” actions, had proved to be “unfit” for the constitutional post.

The letter was written on Saturday when Mr. Ravi had a “purposeful” meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. The State government released its gist on Sunday.

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Accusing Mr. Ravi of violating the oath of office under Article 159, Mr. Stalin said he had been “instigating communal hatred, causing a threat to the peace and tranquillity of the State”.

He said Mr. Ravi had exhibited political bias, on the one hand delaying sanction to prosecute former AIADMK Ministers even on a request made by the CBI and on the other hand acting in haste to “dismiss” the arrested Minister, V. Senthilbalaji, in whose case investigation had just started. “Therefore, by his conduct and actions, Thiru R.N. Ravi has proved that he is biased and unfit to hold the constitutional office of Governor and therefore he deserves to be divested of the high office,” he said.

Mr. Stalin, placing “facts” before the President, left it to her wisdom to decide whether Mr. Ravi’s continuance “is desirable or appropriate”.

Tweeting, Mr. Stalin said he had written to the President, informing her of the unconstitutional functioning of the Governor, “his disregard for the elected government and the State legislature and overreach in State affairs”. The Governor delaying assent to Bills, interfering with police investigations and “promoting divisive ideologies” were a threat to democracy.

In his letter, Mr. Stalin said the work being done by the Tamil Nadu government and legislature was being obstructed by the Governor by openly contradicting the government’s policy in public and unduly delaying assent to Bills and files. “Ever since taking charge, he has engaged in an ideological and political battle with the lawfully elected government headed by the DMK,” he alleged. The delay in granting assent to Bills prevented a democratically elected government from serving the people, which is ex facie unconstitutional, he said.

Mr. Stalin said Mr. Ravi continuously expressed personal, political and religious ideologies at public fora, which was unbecoming of a Governor. He not only causes embarrassment to the elected government “but also attempts to incite contempt, hatred, dissatisfaction and ill will towards the government established by law,” he said.

Mr. Ravi made a comment that “India is dependent on one religion like the rest of the world”. This statement is an affront to India’s Constitution. He also made remarks denigrating and defaming the Tamil people, culture, literature, Dravidian ideology and politics. He once suggested that Tamil Nadu be called Tamizhagam. (He subsequently backtracked on it).

Mr. Stalin said the Governor made unfounded and ill-advised statements on criminal offences following the arrest of two Dikshitars in Chidambaram on the charge of performing child marriage. He had defended the Dikshitars.

“The office of Governor should be apolitical and certainly must be secular in functioning, perception and reality...and not for promoting the interest of some party or ideology; the Governor must focus on performing his constitutional duties in the interest of the State and work in accordance with the constitutional goals and ethos,” Mr. Stalin said.

The Chief Minister said the image of the Governor as an agent of the Union desperately seeking an opportunity to run down the State governments run by Opposition parties would deform and defame India’s cooperative federalism and destroy the fundamentals of Indian democracy. “The Tamil Nadu Governor is a textbook example of this malady,” he said.

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