NEW DELHI: Congress leader P Chidambaram today hit out at Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and said he was not the "real" head of the state executive, a post held by the chief minister who was "cowering" in fear of the Centre.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said he was "amused" by a release issued by the Raj Bhavan that the governor was the head of the state executive as per the Constitution and has complete power to obtain any information connected with the administration of the state and to visit various parts of the state without any restrictions.
"The governor is only the 'titular' head of the executive, not the 'real' head. Since the real head, the chief minister, is cowering in fear of the central government, the TN Governor is exceeding his authority," he said.
The former Union Finance and Home minister said, "To be worthy of the office he holds, the Tamil Nadu chief minister (Edappadi K Palaniswami) should instruct district administrations to refuse to participate in meetings called by the governor".
In a statement, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit yesterday said he would continue to interact with the common people and officials during his visits to various districts in the coming months.
The Raj Bhavan, in its release, rubbished the allegation that the governor was "interfering at the behest of the Centre (in administration)".
"This is a bald allegation unsupported by any facts. This allegation deserves to be ignored," it said.
The release said the people who were ignorant of the Constitution or those prejudiced against the office of the governor should desist from making comments that are illegal in nature.
It extensively quoted the constitutional provisions on the powers of the governor as the head of the state executive.
"The governor is acting entirely in public interest and for the welfare of the common people, for motivating the administration at the district level," the release said.
Noting that the office of the governor is a constitutional office, it said it "deserved respect and honour".
"Attempting to disrespect the constitutional office will be deemed to be illegal and singularly unworthy of democratic appreciation," it added.