Tamil Nadu: Dramatic scenes unfolded in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday as Governor RN Ravi, in an unprecedented act, walked out on realising that Chief Minister MK Stalin was moving a resolution to strike off his ‘deviations’ from the prepared text of the customary address to the House. The Governor left before proceedings concluded and the national anthem was played.
Mr Ravi incurred the Chief Minister’s disapproval when he left out two paragraphs from his address, which is prepared by the Government and approved by the Governor customarily, at the opening session of the Assembly. Besides, he made some extempore remarks.
What did the Governor skip
The Governor skipped paragraph 65, which read: “Following the principles and ideals of stalwarts like Thanthai Periyar (Dravidar Kazhagam founder), Annal Ambedkar (architect of the Constitution), Perunthalaivar Kamarajar, Perarignar Anna and Muthamizh Arignar Kalaignar (all former Chief Ministers), this Government has been delivering the much acclaimed Dravidian model of governance to its people.”
He also skipped a paragraph hailing the Government’s management of law and order as a result of which “Tamil Nadu continues to be a haven of peace and is attracting numerous foreign investments and is becoming a forerunner in all sectors”.
Shortly after Speaker M Appavu read out the Tamil translation of the Governor’s address, the Chief Minister stood up and moved a resolution disapproving of the selective omissions / insertions by Mr Ravi and urging the Speaker to take on record only the printed text of the Governor’s address tabled in the House.
In the two-page resolution, Mr Stalin said the Governor’s act was sad and against the traditions of the Assembly as he had deviated from a text which the Governor himself had approved.
“We conducted ourselves in a manner according full respect to the Governor... but he acted not just against our ideology but also against the Government,” he said.
The Chief Minister urged the Speaker to relax Rule 17 of the House (against disrupting / interrupting before / during / after Governor’s address) and retain only the printed speech in English and the Tamil version read by the Speaker in the House records.
Governor summons his secretary
Sensing trouble, the Governor was seen summoning his Secretary and asking what the Chief Minister was saying. Upon being told that a resolution was being moved against the “deviated” address, an agitated Mr Ravi stood up and briskly walked out without waiting for the proceedings to conclude or the anthem to be played.
Later, in separate interactions with journalists, both the Speaker and Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the Governor had approved the printed address on Jan 7 but deviated from it in the House.
While the DMK’s allies, including the Congress, criticised the Governor, the AIADMK and the BJP claimed that the ruling party had insulted Mr Ravi in the House.
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