21 August special session of Assembly likely new point of friction between KCR and Governor

It is no secret in the Telangana capital Hyderabad that Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan relations with the KCR are frosty.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Aug 10, 2022 | 1:43 PMUpdatedAug 10, 2022 | 1:43 PM

A file picture of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao greets Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at the oath-taking ceremony of Justice Sri Ujjal Bhuyan as Chief Justice of the High Court of Telangana (Official Facebook: KalvakuntlaChandrashekarRao)

The Telangana government’s reported decision to consider a special session of the Assembly on 21 August — to mark the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Indian Independence — as an extension of the budget session, casts doubt whether the ice that had accumulated between Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan would melt at all.

It has now become clear that deep-seated animosities continue to smoulder between the two and that the bonhomie and the banter that was seen when both of them met on the occasion of the swearing-in of Telangana Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan in June was only a facade that both of them had sported.

It is believed that the state government, on purpose, did not ask the Speaker to send any recommendation to the Governor for proroguing the Assembly after the budget session was over. The government let the Assembly be in session, even after its adjournment.

As the Assembly is technically in session, when it meets on 21 August, it would be a continuation of the budget session and not a fresh session. In any calendar year, the Governor addresses the first session of both the houses which usually is the budget session.

But even when the budget session was convened on March 7, it was a mere extension of the winter session of last year, which too was not prorogued. Therefore, there was no need for the Governor to address both the houses.

When the Governor was prevented from addressing the budget session on March 7, she made her displeasure known openly. The Governor, who used to make snide comments on KCR earlier, began taking swipes at him openly, apparently unable to digest the fact the government had shown technical reasons to prevent her from addressing the budget session.

The relations between the two began souring after the Governor rejected the cabinet decision to appoint Congress leader Padi Kaushik Reddy, who had defected to the TRS ahead of the Huzurabad by-election, as an MLC.

She did so on the ground that he did not have the necessary qualification of being a distinguished person to be nominated to the council in the Governor’s quota. KCR later made him an MLC through MLAs’ quota, but that was a different issue altogether.

After the TRS was defeated in the Huzurabad by-election by the BJP, the chasm between Raj Bhavan and Pragati Bhavan widened further. For her part, the Governor too rubbed the chief minister the wrong way with her oblique reference to cloudburst as a brand of whiskey after KCR had blamed heavy rains on a cloudburst triggered by enemy countries.

She picked on the state government for not providing proper transportation when she went out of Hyderabad and for not sending senior officials to apprise her of the ground situation when floods swamped Bharachalam.

After submitting a report on flood havoc to the Centre, though it was not her job, the Governor joined issue with KCR on the quantum of flood relief extended by the government in Delhi. She said it was unfortunate for the state to say that no relief came when Union Minister G Kishan Reddy had given a break-up of the details of how much the state had received to combat disasters.

Not stopping at that, she made political comments on KCR that his proposed national party — Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) — would fall flat and that he would not be able to rise to the national level. This ruffled the feathers of TRS leaders.

Recently, she visited Basra IIIT where students have been complaining of a lack of amenities for quite some time. She sat with them and assured them that she would look into their problems.
Not sitting quietly at Raj Bhavan, she has been holding Mahaila Darbars to render justice to the women who had been wronged, which has become an eye-sore to the TRS.
With the latest provocation over the special session, it will only be a matter of time before the Governor hits back.