Tamil Nadu Assembly: Centre, President must fix time frame for Governors to approve bills

Chief Minister M K Stalin fired sharp barbs at Ravi accusing him of being more faithful to the BJP leadership than the Constitution of India.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  10 April 2023 12:09 PM GMT
Stalin and RN Ravi

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution urging the Centre and President to fix a timeframe for State Governors to approve Bills adopted by the House, indicating increasing dissension between the DMK government and Governor R N Ravi.

Chief Minister M K Stalin who piloted the resolution fired sharp barbs at Ravi accusing him of being more faithful to the BJP leadership than the Constitution of India.

"I will not say that the Governor doesn't know the Constitution. But, his political allegiance has swallowed his loyalty to the Constitution," Stalin said and cautioned that he would not remain idle if the Governor continued to target his government for political reasons.

Stating that he was coerced to move a resolution against Ravi, for the second time this year, Stalin pointed out that the Sarkaria commission had stated that a Governor should be a detached figure.

"But this Governor is unwilling to be a friend," the Chief Minister said and accused Ravi of intentionally speaking against the State government on the eve of Primer Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu or on a day before his (Stalin's) visit to the national capital to meet the Prime Minister.

Governors should engage in healthy discussions with the government but not discuss administrative issues in a public forum, he said. "He is belittling the government's policies, feelings of the Tamils, the sovereignty of the Legislative Assembly and the bills adopted by the House in the interest and welfare of the people," he said. The Governor was going beyond his position and was speaking like a politician.

"He has the habit of not only speaking against the government but also withholds the bills sent to him for assent," he said. The Governor, he claimed converted the Raj Bhavan into a forum for debate - a "political Bhavan." "I don't wish to convert the TN Legislative Assembly into a political arena and reply in detail. But at the same time I will not remain silent if he continues to heap accusations against the government," Stalin said.

Though late Chief Minister C N Annadurai opined that "beard for goat and Governor for a State are not required" and his successor M Karunanidhi endorsed it, both did not fail to respect the person holding the gubernatorial post, he said and added "even I have never deviated." "This august house records with deep regret the action of the Hon'ble Governor of Tamil Nadu in indefinitely withholding many Bills without giving permission, passed by the Legislative Assembly - on the basis of its sovereignty and the legislative responsibilities enshrined in the constitution of India - thereby functioning against the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu," the resolution passed by the DMK members and their allies, in the absence of the Opposition AIADMK, said.

Moreover, the controversial comments made by the Governor in public forum about the bills sent for assent are not in accordance with the office he holds, the oath he took and the interest of the State administration. Besides it undermined the dignity of the House and also the supremacy of the legislature in a parliamentary democracy, it stated.

"Therefore, this august House urges the union government and the President to prescribe a specific time limit to the respective governors to give assent to the bills passed by the legislatures, which are the voice of the people of the State," the resolution read.

Further, the resolution insisted that the Centre and the President should immediately issue appropriate instructions to the Governor to give his assent to the bills sent to him by the Tamil Nadu Assembly; within a specific period.

The government's move came in the wake of bills including the ones seeking exemption to Tamil Nadu from the NEET ambit and banning online gambling pending with the Raj Bhavan for the Governor's assent.

Opposition AIADMK was not present when the resolution was moved as the K Palaniswami-led party had earlier staged a walkout on a different issue. The BJP members walked out over the Governor issue.

Earlier, Leader of the House and Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan moved a motion to pave way for a moving a resolution by the Chief Minister against the Governor and allow a discussion on it.

Inputs from PTI

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