Amend Constitution, remove Governor's power to approve state bills: TN CM MK Stalin

We have to take steps for amending the constitution” Stalin said while moving a resolution censuring the activities of governor R N Ravi. 
A collage of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (L) and Governor RN Ravi. (File Photo | Express)
A collage of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (L) and Governor RN Ravi. (File Photo | Express)

CHENNAI:  Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday gave a call for amending the Constitution to remove the anomaly of giving powers to enact legislation to the state Assemblies, which are composed of people’s representatives, and governors, who are appointed, having the power to assent to the bills passed by the House. “This arrangement does not augur well for upholding the dignity of democracy. We have to take steps for amending the Constitution” Stalin said while moving a resolution censuring the activities of Governor R N Ravi. 

Stalin also said governor Ravi has been acting like a politician and it has become a routine for him to speak against the Tamil Nadu government whenever the Prime Minister visits the state or whenever he goes to New Delhi to meet the PM. “Numerous judgments of the Supreme Court have reiterated that a governor should be a guidepost for the people of the state and the elected government and he must act as a friend. But governor R N Ravi’s activities clearly show that he doesn’t want to be a friend of the people of Tamil Nadu, “the CM said. 

“I would not say the governor does not know the Constitution. But the governor’s political loyalty has swallowed his loyalty to the Constitution. That is why the governor has been criticising the state cabinet’s policy decisions. While speaking against the secular principles of the Constitution, he maligns the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu and insults the century-old TN Assembly. In a nutshell, the governor has turned the Raj Bhavan into a Political Bhavan,” the CM said. 

Gazette notification will be issued immediately: CM

We confirmed the news with the Raj Bhavan, and sent a special messenger and got the file in the evening, the sources said. Later in the day, the CM said gazette notification of the law will be issued immediately. During discussion of the motion, a few MLAs urged the CM to move another resolution demanding the recall of governor RN Ravi as he has been acting against democratic norms and the Constitution.

“I am constrained to move this resolution since the governor has been functioning like a politician going beyond his duty specified in the Constitution,” the CM said. Recalling the promise made by DMK founder and former CM Arignar Anna when he was an MP that the DMK would work for creating a federal polity in India and to ensure autonomy for states, Stalin said, “Those who need to understand this, should perceive this. This day became a day for that.”

Though late leaders Arignar Anna and M Karunanidhi firmly believed that the post of governor was not needed for the states, they never failed to respect those who held that gubernatorial post. “I and this government too toed their path strictly,” he added.

Minutes before the CM moved the resolution, Leader of the House, Durai Murugan, moved a motion for suspending House Rule 92(vii) which says: “A member while speaking, must not reflect upon the conduct of President or any governor or any Court of Justice or use of governor’s or President’s name for the purpose of influencing a debate.”

Since the support of three-fourths of the members present in the House would be required to pass the resolution, the speaker ordered division of votes through head-count of members supporting the resolution. Of the 146 members present, 144 supported the resolution and two MLAs of the BJP opposed it.

Before the CM moved the resolution, Leader of the Opposition, Edappadi K Palaniswami, walked out of the House along with party colleagues condemning the delay by the speaker in recognising RB Udhayakumar as the deputy leader of the opposition. He also opposed the state government’s decision to relax House rules for moving certain resolutions.

The AIADMK MLAs did not return to the House for two hours. BJP floor leader Nainar Nagenthran was conspicuous by his absence and another BJP MLA, Vanathi Srinivasan, skipped the assembly proceedings on Monday. Two other BJP MLAs, MR Gandhi and C Saraswathi, staged a walkout opposing the resolution.

Main features of the bill

1 Advertisement in any form promoting online gambling or playing of online games of chance such as Rummy and Poker with money or other stakes is prohibited in TN

2 Those violating the provision on advertisement for promotion or inducing people to play online gambling/games of chance may get up to one year jail or fine, up to Rs 5 lakh, or both

3 Any person indulging in such banned games shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine up to Rs 5,000 or both.

4 Any person who provides online gambling service or games of Poker and Rummy shall face punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to Rs 10 lakh or both

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The New Indian Express