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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Behind Governor Tamilisai’s outburst, slow and long worsening of ties with TRS govt

KCR govt objects to 'praja darbars' held by her, R-Day speech 'that was not shared'; she says 'not shown any protocol'

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan at the Raj Bhavan (Twitter/File)

The DMK mouthpiece giving the example of Telangana’s Tamilisai Soundarajan to warn about the “fate that could await governors” in the country could mark a sharp escalation in the deterioration of her relationship with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government in the state.

Just days earlier, Soundarajan, speaking at an event at Raj Bhavan to mark the beginning of her fourth year as Telangana Governor, accused the TRS government of humiliating the office. “I was not allowed to hoist the national flag on the 75th Independence Day. I was not allowed the Governor’s address. Wherever I go, protocol is not followed. District Collectors and district police chiefs do not turn up when I visit… But now I don’t care. History will be written on how a woman governor was discriminated against and mistreated in Telangana.”

The reason the DMK appeared to intervene on behalf of the TRS government was not too difficult to guess, given the warming relationship between the two parties as Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao seeks allies to build a national profile. The DMK mouthpiece referred to Soundarajan, while saying that governors must work with state governments.

While ties between the Modi government-appointed Soundarajan and the KCR government have been frosty, things have taken a turn for the worse since the Governor decided to hold “praja darbars” at Raj Bhavan. Soundarajan said she would “seek grievances” from the people and forward the same to the government.

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For nine months, KCR had not been to Raj Bhavan, till on June 28, he attended the swearing-in of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court.

With the TRS seeing the BJP as a rising threat in the state, the party accuses Soundarajan of acting at the behest of the BJP. Several ministers have accused her of disrespecting a popularly elected government by denying routine requests and of bypassing the government. The fact that many BJP government-appointed governors are in conflict with Opposition-ruled state regimes has strengthened their apprehensions.

Last August, Soundararajan rejected the KCR government’s nomination of former Congress leader P Kaushik Reddy as an MLC from the governor’s quota. The CM could then get Reddy in as MLC only after almost four months.

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“No governor does that unless they have political intentions. Our suggestion to the Governor has always been to give respect and get respect,’’ Minister T Srinivas Yadav says, also accusing her of delivering a Republic Day speech “that was neither shown to the government nor approved by it”, violating norms. “The Governor’s media conferences turn into state government-bashing and politically-motivated criticism,” Yadav says.

Recently, Soundarajan again clashed with the state government when she visited women patients who had developed complications after tubectomy at a government hospital. She later said she visited to give the patients “moral support”. “As a doctor, I was moved at seeing their pathetic condition… They are under tremendous distress and shock… Moved by their plight, I immediately sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to each of the 11 patients from my discretionary grants.”

TRS leaders saw this as a political stunt to embarrass the state government, saying it was already providing the best possible treatment and care to the women.

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In her recent speech to mark completion of four years as Governor, Soundarajan also asked why KCR had not attended the Southern Zonal Meeting held by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “Most of the issues that were raised and discussed were of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, so why did the Telangana CM not attend? Why didn’t the CM use the opportunity to work with the Centre?”

She also claimed that she always informs the government and respective departments through proper channels before her initiatives, but that she never gets any response. “I do not know whether they take action. They do not communicate. When I organise a programme and invite ministers and others, they do not even bother to inform me that they won’t attend.”

First published on: 13-09-2022 at 11:17:47 am
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