Escalating tension: R-Day saw some unprecedented scenes as BRS and Governor faced off in Telangana

Face-off between Telangana CM KCR and Governor Soundararajan reached unprecedented levels as she participated in a TV show to take on the BRS.

BySumit Jha

Published Jan 27, 2023 | 11:18 PMUpdatedJan 27, 2023 | 11:18 PM

The Telangana Governor summon the Second Telangana Legislative Assembly to meet for its Fourth Meeting of the Eighth Session. (South First)

While Republic Day celebrations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu — two states where the government is at loggerheads with Governors — saw both parties share the stage amicably, the situation only worsened for Telangana government’s relationship with its Governor.

Chief Minister of Telangana Chandrashekar Rao refused to participate in Republic Day celebrations with Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and skipped the flag-unfurling at Raj Bhavan.

In retaliation, Dr Soundararajan launched a veiled attack against the BRS first family in her Republic Day speech. Making references to “farm houses” and “construction of new buildings”, the Governor pulled up the Telangana ruling party.

Things, however, went from bad to worse when the Telangana Governor, in an unprecedented, never-before-seen move, joined a panel discussion with BJP and BRS spokespersons on national television.

When Governor took to TV

She joined a panel discussion titled #KCRvsGovernor FACEOFF to criticise the BRS government in Telangana and the chief minister for the “manner in which Republic Day was treated”.

“Two months ago, I wrote a letter to the government asking for an event celebrated in a grand manner with public participation. They did not respond. Just two days back they gave a letter saying that it would be conducted at Raj Bhawan and only chief secretary and DGP will attend. The whole country celebrated Republic Day, a constitutional day, not some ordinary programme,” said Governor Soundararajan.

In rebuttal, BRS spokesperson Revula Sridhar Reddy said that the speech on Republic Day was not coming from the Governor but from the BJP. He also questioned the Governor on the unusual delay in clearing Bills submitted by the government that had been duly passed by the legislature.

While refusing to respond to the question of the Bills, Governor Soundararajan accused the Chandrashekar Rao government of refusing to provide her with a speech.

New low, says BRS

While the Governor utilised the TV news space to go after the BRS government in Telangana, the ruling party did not like her appearing on TV one bit.

“A new low! Governors are attending political debates on primetime TV! And look at her response when asked about pending Bills sent to her by Telangana govt!,” Telangana Digital Media Director Kontham Dileep tweeted.

R-Day speech by Governor

Inspecting a low-key parade, the Governor took potshots at Chief Minister KCR, albeit in an oblique fashion. Soon after, BRS spokespersons went all out against the Governor, digging into her family and life and deeming her “unconstitutional”.

Referring to the farmhouse of the chief minister, she said that development meant all farmers should have farms and houses and not that a few own farmhouses. “Buildings are not development. Nation-building is development,” Soundararajan said.

“If having a Farm House is a Crime then why in 2019 Madam Governor @DrTamilisaiGuv purchased a Farm House in Mangadu Village survey No’s 10/6,4/3, 10/2, 10/3,10/4 ….#UnConstitutionalGovernor,” BRS spokesperson Krishank Manne tweeted.

The Governor, in her address, pointed at what she called the “stressful conditions” in Telangana. She said: “National statistics show that every day 22 suicides are taking place in Telangana, which is about one death per hour.”

The BRS retaliated, as expected. “Governor of Telangana’s interest is politics in Tamil Nadu that is why she wants to wish in Tamil celebrating in a Telugu-speaking state! This is what happens when BJP politicians are made Governors,” Krishank tweeted.

She did not hide her displeasure while describing development in the state. “If every child studies in the best university, then it is development. If only my child studies in a university abroad, then it is not development,” she said, implying that Telangana was lagging in development.

“Governor @DrTamilisaiGuv garu’s son getting a John Hopkins University Certificate is not enough , other children should also be able to get is what Governor garu meant in her Republic Day speech ? ?” Krishan tweeted.

The Governor stressed the need for an effort to protect Telangana’s self-respect. She said everyone has to fight for the rights of the people of Telangana people, delivering yet another googly at the chief minister. But that was also quickly countered by the BRS.


BRS MLC hits new low 

While leaders of BRS sought to make a point-by-point rebuttal to the veiled remarks of Governor Soundararajan, an MLC from the party, Padi Kaushik Reddy, crossed a line when he went on a foul-mouthed rant against the Governor.

In a clip that surfaced online, he was heard saying, ‘’You are saying what you want. We can see the frustration on your face and there is no smile on your face. You are speaking from the position of being a Governor but I ask which Constitution is this Governor following? The Governor is sitting on the Bills passed by Assembly and Council. Is this the Constitution that allows you to do that?’’ he said in the video.

Meanwhile, BJP Corporator from Saroornagar in Hyderabad Akula Srivani has filed a complaint with the police to take legal action against Padi Kaushik Reddy for making inappropriate comments against the Telangana Governor.