Battle of Egos: Why are Tensions Brewing Between Tamil Nadu Govt and Governor



The row between the Tamil Nadu authorities, led by DMK head and chief minister MK Stalin, and governor RN Ravi, has solely deepened. The begin of the yr itself noticed a contemporary tussle with Ravi’s walkout from the state legislative meeting over a speech controversy, whereas the DMK and BJP return and forth over the Governor’s ‘state name suggestion’.

What Led to the Row?

According to a report by the Hindu, 4 months after RN Ravi took workplace in September 2021, DMK parliamentary celebration chief TR Baalu demanded his resignation for failing to ahead to then-President Ram Nath Kovind a Bill handed by the Assembly that sought to exempt authorities seats in undergraduate medical and dental programmes from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

Even although the laws is now awaiting Presidential assent, there are quite a few different payments awaiting Governor approval. Ravi authorized the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, which was additionally on the ready record, as an ordinance on October 1, 2022.

Days earlier than the Assembly convened, the Governor sparked a debate by stating his choice for the time period ‘Tamizhagam’ to confer with the state reasonably than Tamil Nadu.

Why Did Governor Walk Out of Assembly Earlier?

The row noticed its newest escalation after Ravi walked out of the Assembly minutes earlier than CM Stalin accomplished studying out the resolutions which demanded to solely embrace the speech printed and authorized by the federal government.

A decision looking for to chill out Rule 17 of the state meeting and not embrace the speech delivered by the Governor within the Legislative Assembly was unanimously adopted by the House.

Earlier within the day, the Governor in his customary tackle within the Legislative Assembly had skipped mentioning the Dravidian mannequin of governance in addition to didn’t identify the leaders together with Thanthai Periyar, B.R. Ambedkar, and even former Chief Ministers, Okay. Kamaraj and C.N. Annadurai. However, he talked about the identify of Kalaignar Karunanidhi in one other line.

The allies of the DMK, together with Congress, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), MDMK, and CPI-M, had shouted slogans towards the Governor throughout his tackle, towards the Governor’s point out of Tamil Nadu as Tamizhagam just lately.

The walkout of the Governor led to him not being current throughout the National Anthem within the House. The House was adjourned for the day after these incidents.

A Deeper Look

In Tamil Nadu, the tensions have steadily elevated after the DMK stormed into energy in May 2021, after spending ten years within the opposition benches. A couple of months later, when RN Ravi took over as Tamil Nadu governor on September 18, 2021, eyebrows had been raised in native political circles over the appointment of a former prime cop and Naga peace talks interlocutor.

To start with, it appeared that relations had been cordial. However, with the governor not giving his assent to a number of legislations handed by the meeting, the DMK started getting restive. It was solely after the meeting unanimously handed the NEET exemption Bill twice, that the governor despatched it to the President for approval. During their assembly with President Murmu final week, the DMK delegation had complained that as many as 20 Bills are pending with Ravi.

The Coimbatore bomb blast case in October become one other flashpoint with RN Ravi questioning the state authorities’s preliminary dithering on handing over the case to the NIA and lastly doing so 4 days later.

However, issues additional deteriorated early this yr, when the governor in an interplay with the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, opined that the phrase ‘Tamizhagam’ or ‘Home of Tamils’ is extra applicable than ‘Tamil Nadu’ or ‘Tamil Country’ for the state. The message being that the identify ‘Tamil Nadu’ emphasises a distinctness from the remaining of India.

DMK leaders steadily specific the opinion that the governor is popping out to be an instrument for the central authorities to meddle in state affairs.

Further controversy arose when the official invitation to Pongal festivities on the governor’s residence, had been despatched out to invitees early this yr. Instead of the ‘temple gopuram’ which is the official Tamil Nadu state emblem, the governor’s invitation sported the federal government of India’s emblem. It additionally addressed the governor as “Tamizhaga Aalunar” (Governor) instead of the standard “Tamil Nadu Aalunar.”

All these developments over the past two years culminating in the episode at the Assembly session, imply a point of no-return for Centre-state relations in Tamil Nadu.

Where Does BJP Come in?

Despite very low traction in the ‘Dravidian state’ the ruling BJP at the Centre is making all out efforts to create a space for itself in Tamil Nadu, an IANS report opined. The Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP, led by an aggressive Annamalai, himself a former IPS officer, has been rooting for the governor and his every move.

With the 2024 parliamentary polls set to be the next electoral battle in Tamil Nadu, the next two years may see further acrimony between the governor and the state government, the report said.

A political analyst told IANS that this state of affairs could benefit both, the DMK as well as the BJP to cross swords without actually resorting to an all out war.

Where Else is a Similar Problem Being Observed?

A similar problem is being witnessed between the government and governors in two other southern states – Kerala and and Telangana. A similar face-off is also brewing between the Delhi government and LG Saxena.


The dispute between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the state’s LDF-led CPI(M) government saw the government bringing an ordinance to remove the Governor from the position of Chancellor of state universities late last year.

The State Cabinet intended to replace the Chancellor with an expert academician. The Governor and the state government have been at odds for some time, with the Governor alleging irregularities in university operations and the appointment of vice-chancellors in state-run universities. Read more on this here


In Telangana, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan had made a serious allegation against the TRS government, voicing suspicion that her phone might be tapped. Similar to Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Governor Soundararajan is being accused of not sending eight bills for the President’s assent, including the Telangana Universities Common Recruitment Board Bill, which she has refused to clear, News18’s Rohini Swamy explained.

In September, the Telangana Governor, while speaking at an event at the Raj Bhavan, accused the TRS government of “humiliating” her workplace by not permitting her to hoist the nationwide flag on Independence Day or ship the Governor’s tackle. The state authorities had commenced the Budget Session of the Assembly with out the customary tackle of the Governor. Read extra right here

With inputs from IANS

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