CHENNAI: The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu has always been at odds with the Raj Bhavan, which peaked after retired IPS officer R.N. Ravi assumed charge as the Governor of the southern state.
The DMK suspects that the BJP government at the Centre is using the office of the Governor against the state government.
In this context, senior CPI leader Mahendran recently said that the post of the Governor is meant for spying on the state governments on behalf of the Centre, and it should be abolished.
In Tamil Nadu, DMK is in a political alliance with the CPI and the statement of Mahendran is viewed by many as backed by the DMK top brass.
Political analyst and retired professor G. Padmanabhan told IANS, "The statement of the CPI leader made during a book release function was a well-thought remark which was a direct retort by the DMK to the Governor, riding on the back of the CPI. It has to be seen in the coming days whether the government will go for a patch up with the Governor or continue with its confrontationist approach."
When Ravi assumed office as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, the DMK government was skeptical as he is considered close to the Prime Minister besides being a former Intelligence Bureau officer.
The direct confrontation between the Governor and the state government began after Ravi returned the anti-NEET Bill passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
The Governor in his rejection note had said that the anti-NEET Bill was against the interests of the students and cancelling NEET would affect the students from economically weaker sections.
While rejecting the Bill in February, the Governor also quoted a Supreme Court judgement which said, "The issue was examined from a social justice angle, which said it (NEET) prevents economic exploitation of poor students and is furtherance of social justice."
The Governor rejecting the Bill came as a bolt from the blue for the DMK government, which responded by boycotting the 'in-house' reception announced by the Governor at the Raj Bhavan in April to mark the Tamil New Year celebrations.
Matters escalated further after Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy openly boycotted a function of the Governor at Madurai Kamaraj University, stating that the Governor politicised the function by inviting Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Fisheries, L. Murugan, and allowed him a speech highlighting the BJP government.
The DMK activists along with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Left party activists sprang a surprise when they blocked the Governor's vehicle and jumped in front it during his visit to Myladuthurai to attend a programme at the Dharmapuram Adheenam Mutt.
In June, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had urged the Governor to give his assent to 21 Bills that were passed in the state Assembly. Interestingly, these include Bills that would curtail the power of the Governor.
The Tamil Nadu Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2022, the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai (Amendment) Bill 2022 and other Bills take away the power of the Governor to appoint Vice-Chancellors in state-run universities.