Amid the ongoing tussle between the DMK government in Tamil Nadu and the state’s Governor RN Ravi, TR Baalu, the Parliamentary leader of the party, on Wednesday, 2 November, wrote a letter to all like-minded Members of Parliament requesting them to sign a memorandum addressed to President Droupadi Murmu demanding the immediate withdrawal of Ravi from his post.
In his letter, Baalu asked the MPs to visit the DMK headquarters, and read and sign the memorandum on or before Thursday.
This move comes just days after the Secular Progressive Alliance led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu issued a statement against Ravi for his controversial remarks on a host of issues, including secularism, Sanatana Dharma, Aryans, Dravidians, the Scheduled Castes, and Thirukkural.
DMK takes strong stand
In that statement, the DMK and its alliance parties asked the Governor to quit his post if he was looking to please the BJP. “It is not clear whether he is doing this to create confusion in Tamil Nadu or if it is driven by the desire to draw attention towards him,” it read.
The trigger for the statement by the leaders of the DMK-led alliance was the recent remarks by Ravi, which they believed were against the values of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.
“The Governor said: ‘India is said to be a secular country. But all countries will follow a particular religion. India is no exception.’ He has started to consider himself the Parliament of India, the Supreme Court, the President of India — that is, he thinks he is the King of India,” the statement said.
“It has become clear from this that the Governor does not know the world history nor the Constitution of India,” it added.
“Does he realise that this goes against the Constitution and the oath he took while taking charge as the Governor?” it asked.
In the eye of the storm
Apart from promoting Sanatana Dharma as a “way of life” and as a principle that guides the country, Ravi has also been taking a contrary stance on various other policy issues, such as the National Education Policy and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
The DMK government and the Governor have been at loggerheads over these matters for months. The government has also accused the Governor of sitting on various bills passed by the Assembly.
The DMK’s mouthpiece Murasoli has also been publishing editorials against the Governor time and again, reminding him of his constitutional duty and the oath of office he took upon assuming charge.
Last week, Ravi questioned the DMK government about why it took them four days to transfer the probe in the Coimbatore car blast case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The government hit back, saying that the state police was in constant touch with the NIA and IB officials since the time the explosion was reported.
It may be noted that even in Kerala, the LDF government and the BJP-appointed Governor Arif Mohammad Khan have been butting heads, especially in recent weeks, over the appointment of vice-chancellors to universities, and the latter withdrawing pleasure in Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal.
On Monday, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked like-minded parties to come together to protest against the “anti-constitutional” acts of the Governors.