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“Governor Created Extraordinary Situation”: Speaker Defends MK Stalin

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Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi was today blamed in the state assembly for “creating an extraordinary situation” when he went off-script while reading out the speech traditionally prepared by the state government.

On Monday, the Governor walked out of the assembly in an unprecedented show of protest after Chief Minister MK Stalin moved a resolution asking the Speaker to take on record only parts of his speech that were approved by the state government.

Speaker M Appavu today justified allowing the Chief Minister to move the resolution.

“The Governor created an extraordinary situation in the assembly. Chief Minister Stalin’s bold resolution has established the Governor’s role across India,” Mr Appavu said as members of the opposition AIADMK protested against what they called Mr Stalin’s overreach.

“The Chief Minister has not violated any provision. The Governor’s act would have brought shame to the assembly, had the Chief Minister not moved the resolution,” he said.

The Speaker said without Mr Stalin’s intervention, there would have been “bad press”.

“The Governor was given due protocol and honour. The Governor’s address is a policy statement of the government. The Governor can’t add or delete the approved speech,” Mr Appavu argued.

The AIADMK said Mr Stalin had not sought permission before moving the resolution and that the Speaker could not accept a resolution that calls for taking parts of a Governor’s speech off record.

“Chief Minister Stalin did seek my permission and appealed to me to adopt the resolution. The Speaker has all rights to decide according to the situation,” Mr Appavu replied.

Governor Ravi walked out, without evening waiting for the national anthem, when the assembly adopted the Chief Minister’s resolution to record only the original speech prepared by the state government.

The Governor had skipped parts of the speech that had references to secularism, describing Tamil Nadu as a haven of peace, and mention of leaders like Periyar, BR Ambedkar, K Kamaraj, CN Annadurai, and Karunanidhi.

Mr Ravi’s act marked an escalation in his standoff with the DMK-led government on a range of issues.

The latest flashpoint is the Governor’s controversial remark that ‘Thamizhagam’ would be “a more appropriate name” for Tamil Nadu.

The ruling DMK has accused Mr Ravi of pushing the BJP-RSS agenda with this comment.

Ruling MLAs shouted “Quit Tamil Nadu” slogans in the assembly against Mr Ravi and hashtag #GetOutRavi has trended on Twitter.

At an event last week, Governor Ravi had said: “Whatever applies to the entire country, Tamil Nadu says no. It has become a habit. Truth must prevail. Thamizhagam is a more appropriate word. The rest of the country suffered a lot of devastation at the hands of foreigners for a long time.”

Tamil Nadu means “the nation of Tamils” while Thamizhagam means the “home of the Tamil people”. The word “Nadu” means “land” in Tamil and could be seen by many to depict an autonomous region in India. Governor Ravi said efforts were made over the years to push the narrative that Tamil Nadu is not an integral part of India.

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