CHENNAI: The face-off between the ruling DMK and the State Governor has become an unending saga in Tamil Nadu now.
The most recent dispute between the State government and Raj Bhavan erupted here last week after Governor RN Ravi echoed views contrary to what was held by the ruling DMK. The DMK, indeed, reacted strongly by questioning the factual inaccuracies in the nominal head of the state. DMK treasurer cum Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu went to the extent of suggesting that the Governor would have got his facts right if he had read a few books on ‘Dravidam’ before making statements in public. Three language policy, Varnashram and most recently reducing Dravidam to a geographical distinction, the incumbent TN Governor has rubbed the State government on the wrong side on multiple occasions. Understandably, the DMK and its allies like Congress, VCK, and Left parties have consistently questioned the unfairness of Raj Bhavan presenting views contrary to the policy held by the government.
Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary of State Platofrm for Common School Syllabus - Tamil Nadu, who wrote to Raj Bhavan a few days ago asking not to conduct essay competitions for school students for the 75th independence day celebrations ‘unilaterally’, said the Governor installs the government by administering the oath. “He reads the policy of the government in the House every January. If he makes statements contrary to it later in public, what will the people infer from it? How can a government campaign against the views of the government? How is it fair?” Babu said.
“He has an ideology. It is not scientific and acceptable to the people of the state. If he conducts such a competition, is he using it to further his ideology? He is a constitutional authority, he is collecting personal details of students such as mobile numbers, mail id, and school details. A committee has been constituted for the competition. Who can assure that it will not be compromised? Will he take responsibility? He cannot be held accountable because he has constitutional protection. If he wants to conduct a competition, he should entrust it to the govt,” Babu added.
Reiterating that the Governor’s act was Constitutional excess, senior advocate and DMK Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson said: “He is exceeding his constitutional duties and responsibilities. He is the nominal head of the State. He should reflect the policies of the State. He is going against Constitutional morality. How will the people differentiate if a high Constitutional authority presents one view in the House and contradicts it outside? As per Article 163 of the Constitution, the governor is advised by the council of ministers.”
Arguing that it has been substantially elucidated by the apex court in the Nabam Rabia case, Wilson said that the Governor cannot act independently, and only in a few instances, he can act independently. “The will of the people is reflected by elected representatives. Governor cant decide the will of the people. He cannot have a separate view, ” the senior advocate added.