KTR calls out Centre, Telangana Governor after TN resolution seeking timeframe for Bill approval

In a tweet, he said top constitutional posts have become political tools in the hands of the Centre and called it a 'sad state of affairs'.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 11, 2023 | 6:43 PMUpdatedApr 11, 2023 | 6:43 PM

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan cleared 3 of the 10 Bills pending with her after the state government approached the Supreme Court.

Taking a swipe at the way the institution of the Governor is being manipulated, IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Tuesday, 11 April, said that it reflected a “sad state of affairs”.

In a tweet, the BRS leader said, “Sad state of affairs where top constitutional posts have become political tools in the hands of the Union government.

“Have a look at all non-BJP governed states; you will see a similar clear pattern of noncooperation and vengefulness. Is this the cooperative federalism model and team India that’s going to help the nation grow and prosper?”

Follow in TN’s footsteps

KTR made the comment in the wake of Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundararajan clearing three of the 10 Bills pending with her after the state government moved earth and heaven, and finally knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court.

The comment also assumed significance as only on Monday, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre and the President of India to fix a timeframe for Governors to approve Bills adopted by the House, which is considered an indication of the intensification of the ongoing confrontation between Chief Minister MK Stalin and Governor RN Ravi.

Also Read: TN Assembly adopts resolution seeking to put Governor on timeline

Fighting back against governors

Like in Telangana, in Tamil Nadu too the relations between the Governor and the chief minister have remained fractured for quite some time.

What set off a new wave of protests and forced the Assembly to adopt a resolution for the fixation of the timeframe for passing the Bills was Ravi’s statement that Bills that had not been passed should be considered dead.

The ruling DMK slammed the governor for creating tension, controversy, and social unrest.

The situation in Tamil Naidu is arguably worse than in Telangana as the Governor there has been sitting on over 20 Bills since he took over the gubernatorial assignment in September 2021.

Also Read: Telangana Governor clears three Bills, seven still pending

Telangana in Supreme Court

The Telangana government, in its petition, said it was constrained to move the apex court under Article 32 of the Constitution in view of a “constitutional impasse” created by the refusal of the Governor to act on several bills passed by the state legislature.

It said Article 200 of the Constitution empowers the Governor to either give assent to a bill passed by the state Assembly or withhold assent or reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.

“This power has to be exercised as soon as possible,” it said.

The state government said several bills passed by the Assembly, including the Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) Amendment Bill, 2022, and Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022, were awaiting Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s nod.

Soundararajan, a former chief of the BJP in Tamil Nadu, was at that time locked in a running feud with the BRS government in Telangana.

On 14 March, the top court agreed to hear a petition filed by the Telangana government seeking directions to the state governor to clear 10 pending bills passed by the Legislative Assembly but are awaiting gubernatorial assent.

The apex court agreed to hear the plea, Dushyant Dave, representing Telangana, mentioned it for urgent listing, saying several bills of public importance were stuck.

On 20 March, the top court sought the Centre’s response to the plea filed by the state government.

It clarified, however, that the court would not issue a notice to the office of the Governor but would like to see the reply of the Union of India on the state government’s plea.