Thaw in the ice: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan clears three Bills, seven still pending

It is learnt that the Raj Bhavan has forwarded two Bills to the President and returned two to the government for reconsideration.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 10, 2023 | 3:21 PMUpdatedApr 10, 2023 | 3:21 PM

In a special leave petition filed with the apex court, the state government pleaded for its direction as the constitutional deadlock was continuing. (Twitter)

In what seemed like a possible thaw in the frosty relationship between the BRS government and Raj Bhavan in Telangana, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan is understood to have given assent to three of the 10 Bills pending with her.

The Governor is learnt to have referred two Bills to the President of India and returned two others to the government for reconsideration. She is yet to decide on the remaining Bills.

However, the details of Bills that have got assent, and those sent to the President and government, were not immediately known.

In September last, eight Bills passed by both Houses of the legislature were sent to the Governor for her assent.

The Governor gave assent to only one Bill related to the amendment of GST.

The remaining seven Bills have been pending with her. In February, the legislature passed three more Bills. Till Sunday, 10 Bills were pending with the Governor.

Related: Centre speaks to Telangana Governor on bills awaiting assent

A thorn in the flesh

Interestingly, the Governor assented to three Bills after the Supreme Court , on Monday, 10 April, adjourned the hearing on the state government’s petition for a directive to the Raj Bhavan to clear the Bills.

The Supreme Court allowed the plea of the Centre’s counsels for more time to respond.

Earlier, on 22 March, a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, and justices P Srinarasimha, and JB Pardiwala, issued notices to the Centre on the Telangana government’s petition.

The delay in giving assent to the Bills has remained a thorn in the flesh of the Telangana government.

The relationship between Pragati Bhavan — Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao’s official residence — and Raj Bhavan has gone over the precipice with the Governor and ministers in Telangana trading charges at each other.

Related: Telangana Gov Tamilisai Soundararajan says her phone is tapped

As the Raj Bhavan withheld the Bills, the state made an unusual move. It went to the Supreme Court, citing the “Constitutional impasse” the Governor’s act has caused.

Meanwhile, unsavoury incidents took place in front of the Raj Bhavan with students staging demonstrations, seeking the clearance of the Bill that seeks to establish the Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board for appointment to all universities.

The BJP alleged that the protests were BRS-sponsored. The ruling party, too, condemned the protests. On more than one occasion, even the Governor had expressed her displeasure over the turn of events.

Related: Telangana Governor hits out at chief secretary following SC petition

Pending Bills

The Bills that are pending with the Governor as listed in the government’s petition filed in the Supreme Court were:

  1. Azamabad Industrial Area (Termination and Regulation of Leases) (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  2. Telangana Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  3. Telangana Public Employment (Regulation of Age of Superannuation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  4. The University of Forestry Telangana Bill, 2022
  5. Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, 2022
  6. Telangana Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  7. Telangana State Private Universities (Establishment and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2022
  8. Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  9. Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2023
  10. Telangana Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Incidentally, the ruling DMK government in Tamil Nadu moved a fresh resolution against Governor RN Ravi for not clearing Bills passed by the Assembly on Monday, 10 April.

Speaker M Appavu had earlier called for setting a timeframe for Governors to clear Bills.

The government and the Governor in Kerala, too, were in loggerheads over pending Bills.