It is the Governor's duty to read out govt prepared address: TN Speaker

As regards the content of Governor's address, the onus of responsibility, is on the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers and the duty of the Governor is only to read out the text, he said
Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu
Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu(Source: Facebook/Appavu)

CHENNAI: The onus of responsibility in respect of the content of Governor's address is on the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers and the duty of the Governor is only to read out the prepared text, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu said on Wednesday in the House.

Giving his ruling on MLAs-belonging to parties including the Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and the Left-raising slogans during Governor R N Ravi's customary address to the House on January 9, Appavu said the microphone on such occasions is provided only to the Governor and no one else.

The Governor has a right to address the House and no hindrance shall be caused. Citing relevant rules, he said members shall comply with it. On that day, the legislators, aired their views and there was no 'dharna' or any untoward incidents. The Speaker said slogan shouting should have been, however, avoided and in future they must steer clear of it.

Appavu recalled past instances (1998 and 2011) witnessed in the House when Governors of the day were present. During the previous AIADMK regime (1991-96), rules were relaxed and critical remarks were made against the then Governor M Channa Reddy.

However, when (late DMK patriarch) M Karunanidhi returned as Chief Minister (1996-2001) rules were amended to ensure that there was no discussion or remarks vis-a-vis the Governor, President and Judges.

On Governor Ravi's customary address, the Speaker said there were irregularities in respect of the text he read out as there were exclusions from the government prepared address. Also, Ravi made inclusions on his own.

Though this led to an abnormal situation, Chief Minister Stalin deftly handled it and piloted a resolution which shone light on the rights and role of a Governor and upheld the dignity of the House. Appavu lauded Stalin for bringing the resolution and getting it passed.

As regards the content of Governor's address, the onus of responsibility, is on the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers and the duty of the Governor is only to read out the text, he said.

The resolution, adopted by a voice vote on Monday, urged Speaker Appavu to record Ravi's speech only to the extent it had prior Cabinet approval.

Copies of such government approved text were circulated to members and the Tamil version was read out by the Chair. In essence, whatever Ravi spoke on his own is not official and though he skipped certain portions of the approved text, it continued to be the official address.

Just before the resolution's adoption that disapproved Ravi's deviation from the prepared text, the Governor walked out of the House, something unprecedented.

The government's 'stellar' management of law and order, its ideals of social justice, self-respect, inclusive growth, equality, women empowerment and secularism and compassion towards all are among the aspects skipped by Ravi on January 9.

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