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Tamil Nadu Governor Walks Out Amid Row With MK Stalin Over His Speech

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Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi today walked out of the assembly after Chief Minister MK Stalin moved a resolution asking the Speaker to take on record only the speech prepared by the state government, and remove the portions the Governor added to or skipped from the customary address. The Assembly adopted a resolution to record only the Governor’s original speech, which was prepared by the state government and translated by the Speaker. RN Ravi walked off in a huff, without even waiting for the national anthem, sung moments later.

The Governor had skipped parts of the address prepared by the state government which 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, after which the Chief Minister moved the resolution. He also did not read the reference to the ‘Dravidian model’ that the ruling DMK promotes.

MK Stalin, in the resolution, said the Governor’s action was “against Assembly traditions”.

Allies of the ruling DMK — Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), CPI, and CPI(M) — earlier boycotted the Governor’s address, after protesting, by raising slogans, his delay in clearing Bills, including those regarding a ban on online gambling, and clipping the Governor’s powers to appoint Vice Chancellors to state universities. 21 Bills passed by the Assembly are pending with the Governor.

“Quit Tamil Nadu” slogans reverberated in the Assembly against Mr Ravi. Ruling DMK MLAs also raised slogans saying “don’t impose BJP, RSS ideology”.

They also protested the Governor’s recent remark that ‘Thamizhagam’ would be “a more appropriate name” for Tamil Nadu.

“Unfortunately in Tamil Nadu there has been regressive politics that we are Dravidians, and by virtue of the Constitution, we have been brought together. The entire effort has been created in half a century to reinforce this narrative that we are not part of the nation, an integral part of the nation. And even a different kind of narrative has been created. Everything applicable for the whole of the country, Tamil Nadu will say no,” the Governor had said on Wednesday while speaking at a function held in Raj Bhavan to felicitate the organisers and volunteers of Kashi-Tamil Sangamam.

“It has become a habit. So many theses have been written–all false and poor fiction. This must be broken. Truth must prevail. In fact, Tamil Nadu is the land which holds the soul of Bharat. It is the identity of Bharat. In fact, Thamizhagam would be the more appropriate word to call it,” the Governor said.

The Governor and the state government have been at loggerheads, with the ruling party accusing Mr Ravi of acting on the behest of the BJP. DMK MP TR Balu had earlier slammed Mr Ravi for his state renaming suggestion, and said he should stop acting as a “second state president of BJP”.

“Governor RN Ravi on a daily basis passes some controversial comments to create confusion, separation and conflict. The governor said ‘people have been cheated during 50 years of Dravidian politics’. It is highly condemnable as he should say this from BJP State headquarters Kamalalayam and not from Raj Bhavan,” Mr Balu said.

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