A day after Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit called a meeting of district and local officials in Coimbatore, the move came under heavy fire from DMK working president M K Stalin and AIADMK rebel leader T T V Dinakaran, who accused the BJP-led Central government of using the Governor’s office to try and interfere in administration of a state with a “weak elected government.”
The Congress, the CPI(M) and Dalit party VCK had criticised Purohit’s move on Tuesday.
Stalin, Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, said that Governor Purohit does not have powers of Lieutenant Governors in Union Territories — such as in neighbouring Puducherry. “The Centre is trying to rule the state through the Governor as the AIADMK government here is weak,” he said in a statement.
Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Stalin pointed out that only an elected government is powerful in Parliamentary democracy. “Even B R Ambedkar said that the post of a Governor would be a ceremonial one. The Governor will only be an agent of the Central government,” he stated. Stalin said that the DMK considers the significance of a state Governor similar to that of a goat’s beard, a comparison first made by former Chief Minister C N Annadurai decades ago.
Stalin said that if Purohit, who assumed charge as Governor on October 6, is concerned about the state of governance in Tamil Nadu, he should ask the Edappadi Palaniwami government to prove its majority in the House.
Calling Purohit’s meeting with officials “clearly interfering” in the state government’s jurisdiction, Dinakaran tweeted, “Governor’s attempt to interfere in state governance indicates that it is the beginning of the end of an anti-people government run by CM Palaniswami…. The same administrative crisis that emerged in Delhi and Puducherry Union Territories due to Lt Governors’ interference in state affairs may repeat in Tamil Nadu too…. Looks like it is the agenda of BJP to derail constitutional rules to overpower the powers of elected governments in the state.”
Dinakaran said that this development also shows that Palaniswami’s AIADMK government has no stake in the values of late J Jayalalithaa, “who never allowed Governors to interfere in state administration, and always stood for the autonomy of the state”.