Rama Krishna Sangem
Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on April 6, Wednesday claimed herself as a “lady governor” and “friendly governor” who wants to work with TRS government headed by CM KCR. She spoke to media in detail immediately after her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi in the morning. Later, she called on Home Minister Amit Shah, among others.
Tamilisai, a medical doctor turned politician before came to Hyderabad Raj Bhavan three years ago, was unusually assertive while lashing out at the State government for not following protocol and courtesies to her in the last several months. The Governor also attacked Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar for not following the protocol. “Doesn’t he know the protocol norms of a Governor?” she asked.
Though Tamilisai normally interacts with media, inside or outside Raj Bhavan, this is the first time she appeared firm on taking on the KCR government on various issues. While claiming that she was not for confrontation with the State government, the Governor made it clear that “no one can stop me from my work”. Tamilisai replied to all the questions with a smile on her face, though her replies were strong.
Even on the breach of protocol to her on several occasions since recently, Tamilisai said: “The way they (the State government) are dealing with me; I leave it to people of people of Telangana”. When asked whether she took these issues to the notice of the PM, she replied: “Why should I do it? People all over the country know about it as it appeared in the media.”
Apparently, she focused on three to four issues of protocol breach. First, the Assembly’s budget session starting without the customary address by the Governor. Second, the CM, ministers and other officials not turning up at unfurling of the national flag at Raj Bhavan on Republic Day, Jan 26,. Third, the officials not coming to receive her at a recent function in Warangal, or at Sammakka-Saralamma Jathara.
The Governor also referred to the issue of nomination of TRS leader Padi Kaushik Reddy as MLC under the Governor’s quota. “I felt he doesn’t deserve to be made an MLC under this quota which is meant for people from service background,” she said. Indirectly, she expressed her unhappiness over Reddy being made an MLC from the MLAs’ quota.
The Governor’s aggressive remarks against the KCR led TRS government assume significance as she just emerged from a meeting with the PM. We have every reason to believe that she made these comments only after a nod from PM Modi. If that is so, the issue might take political tones in the coming days and turn into a war of words between TRS and BJP.
By using the card, Lady Governor, is Tamilisai Soundararajan intends to draw sympathy of women in Telangana? By claiming that she was a friendly governor, Tamilisai may be trying to convey a message that it was not she who first pick a fight with the State government, but it is other way round. Her mention of a patient’s death at MGM Hospital in Warangal due to mice bite too is a political statement.
Already, Tamilisai has set a grievances box at Raj Bhavan where people can represent their problems to her directly. She has started sending those representations with her covering letters to various departments. We don’t know the fate of those representations. Now, the Governor wants to start “Praja Durbars” (public interactions) to known their problems.
Definitely, this will not be appreciated by CM KCR. The ruling TRS will interpret this as infringement on the domain of a State government and an attack on federalism. In fact, the CM is not so comfortable with Dr Tamilisai’s appointment as Telangana Governor because, until then, she was Tamil Nadu BJP state president.
Though a strained relationship between the Governor and the State government is not new to Hyderabad Raj Bhavan, all will be observing what turn this fresh bout of hostilities will take this time.