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Friday, March 1, 2024

TN Guv skips reading full address, walks out of Assembly, Govt adopts resolution to retain printed text in Assembly records

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Chennai: For the second successive year, Tamil Nadu Governor R.N.Ravi skipped reading out the full text of his customary New Year address, prepared by the State government,
on the opening day of the Legislative Assembly session on Monday, before staging a walk out without waiting for the recital of National Anthem after the government chose to move a resolution seeking to retain the address prepared by it and distributed to the members, in the Assembly records.

Unlike last year, when the Governor read out a majority portion of the speech prepared by the government and skipped a few points towards the fag end of his address and deviated from it and staged a walk out, this year, the Governor spoke for just two minutes before concluding his address.

The Governor, who was accorded a red carpet welcome to the House, began his address by greeting Speaker M.Appavu, Chief Minister M.K.Stalin, Members of the House and the people of Tamil Nadu and the media, and read out the first paragraph which contained a Thirukkural couplet of renowned Saint Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar.

After this, the Governor, who had been on loggerheads with the ruling DMK on a host of issues, abruptly ended his speech by expressing his respect to the house, wished the session to be productive for the good of people of Tamil Nadu and concluded the address without reading fully.

“This address has numerous passages with which I convincingly disagree on factual and moral grounds. I, lending my voice to them, would constitute constitutional travesty. Hence with respect to the House I conclude my address,” he said in his speech.

The Governor also charged, that his “repeated request and advice to show due respect to the national anthem and play it at the beginning and end of the address has been ignored.”

“Wishing the House “a productive and healthy discussion for the good of the people,” he concluded his speech with the slogans, “Vazhga Tamil Nadu, Vazhga Bharatham. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat, Nandri.”

Then as per the tradition, the Speaker read out the Tamil version of Mr Ravi’s address saying he was continuing from where the Governor left.

The Speaker’s Tamil version of the Governor address lasted 45 minutes and Mr Ravi sat through it till the conclusion of the address.

After this Mr Appavu, before calling Leader of the House and Water Resources Minister Mr.Duraimurugan to speak, said this House follows the tradition and gives due respect for the Governor who holds the highest office and did not want to find fault with him for not reading the full text of the address prepared by the government.

He also referred to the recent natural disasters like the Cyclone Michaung that saw heavy rains in Chennai and three neighbouring districts, causing extensive damages, and followed by the unprecedented rains in the southern districts, which too wrought havoc to infrastructure facilities, and urged the Governor to take up the matter with the Centre and get the Rs 60,000 crore grant sought by the state government towards cyclone and flood relief.

Soon after the Speaker finished reading out the Tamil version, Leader of the House and Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan rose to move a resolution seeking to relax Rule 17 of the Assembly and to retain the text of the Governor address prepared by the State government and distributed to the members in the Assembly records, following which Mr Ravi walked out of the House without waiting for the recital of the National anthem.

Later, the resolution was adopted unanimously by voice vote.

The brief resolution said “the English and Tamil version of the Governor’s address for the first session of New Year which was distributed to the House should be retained in the Assembly records”.

After announcing that the resolution was adopted unanimously by voice vote, the Speaker said the English and Tamil printed version of the Governor’s address alone would go into the Assembly records and nothing else would go into the records”.

Referring to Mr. Ravi’s observations that national anthem was not recited after Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu (Prayer for Mother Tamil God)–despite writing several letters to the Speaker and the Chief Minister–before commencing his address, Mr Appavu said while everyone had lots of opinions on many things, it was not a convention to speak about all that.

“The State government, the Chief Minister, the Ministers and the MLAs have treated the Governor with respect despite differences in opinions and principles”, he said.

Stating that the Governor had expressed what was in his heart, he kindly requested the Governor to listen to “what is in our hearts”.

Pointing out that Tamil Nadu faced cyclone and massive floods and the Union government “had not released a single paise,” he appealed for the release of funds from “the lakhs of crores” kept in PM CARES Fund, the accounts of which which, he alleged, cannot be questioned by the public.

Later, after the resolution was passed, the Speaker said the issue on national anthem was resolved last year after the Governor wrote a letter to him on the same.

Stressing that the Assembly has always respected and followed the conventions, he said the convention was to play Tamil Thai Vaazhthu prior to the Governor’s address and play the national anthem when the session concluded after the address.

After this the House was adjourned for the day to meet tomorrow.

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