Chennai: Amid renewed tensions between Raj Bhavan and the Tamil Nadu Government, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday moved a resolution disapproving of Governor R N Ravi’s conduct and urging the Union Government and the President to prescribe a specific time limit for Governors to act on Bills.
Accusing Ravi of converting the “Raj Bhavan into a Political Bhavan”, Stalin said he was under compulsion to move a resolution against the Governor for the second time – the first being in January when Ravi did not read out the approved text of the Governor’s Address to the House. The Chief Minister insisted that the unwarranted circumstances were not created by the Government (but by Raj Bhavan).
The development comes against Ravi’s recent remarks that if a Governor withholds a Bill, it means the “Bill is dead”.
Constitutional responsibility and democratic duty
The resolution said the Government of Tamil Nadu, having come to power with the overwhelming mandate of the people of Tamil Nadu, has the Constitutional responsibility and democratic duty to fulfill the aspirations and needs of its people. “This august House records with deep regret the action of the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu in indefinitely withholding many Bills without giving permission, passed by the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu – 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.”
It disapproved of the controversial comments made by the Governor in public forum about the Bills passed by the Assembly and sent for assent. It said his comments, “are not in accordance with the office he holds, the oath he took and interest of the State Administration.” Besides, it is against the Constitution and the established conventions being followed, and belittling the dignity of this House and undermine the supremacy of the Legislature in a Parliamentary democracy.
“Therefore, this August House urges the Union Government and the Honorable 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.
“In order to establish the legislative power of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu and refrain Honorable Governor from continuing to act against the interests of the people of Tamil Nadu and thereby tarnishing the principles of democracy and the sovereignty of this august Legislative Assembly, this august House unanimously insists that the Union Government and the Honorable President should immediately issue appropriate instructions to the Governor to assent to the Bills by this Assembly within a specific period,” the resolution said.
Stalin's accusation on TN Governor
Stalin accused the Governor of timing adverse comments to coincide with around the time when the Prime Minister was to visit Tamil Nadu or when he was in Delhi to meet the Prime Minister.
Speaker M Appavu suspends certain provisions in the Assembly rules that barred any debate on the Governor’s conduct and the use of his name to influence any debate to allow a voting on the resolution. While the AIADMK legislators walked out before the voting, two BJP legislators who were present in the House voted against it while 144 MLAs voted in its favour.
Eventually when the resolution was taken up for adoption, the two BJP legislators had walked out and the Speaker declared the resolution was passed unanimously.