Chennai: In yet another instance of his confrontation with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) dispensation in Tamil Nadu, Governor RN Ravi on Monday, February 12, concluded his customary address to the House within three minutes, making certain remarks over the content of the address, even as his remarks were ‘expunged.’
As Ravi made some mention about the national anthem, Speaker M Appavu said it is played in the last in the House on the day when the Governor delivers his customary address, and cited House rules in this regard.
After Appavu raised the issue of flood relief to the state and made a mention of VD Savarkar and Nathuram Godse, the Governor walked out of the House, before the national anthem was played to mark the completion of proceedings for the day.
In the history of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, this is the first time a Governor has not read out his customary address to the House at the start of the session for a year. Last year, on January 9, Ravi omitted some portions of the government-prepared address and also included some points on his own.
This was Ravi’s inaugural address for the year to the House.
Ravi, after quoting a couplet from a Tamil classic ‘Tirukkural’ and offering his greetings in Tamil to Speaker Appavu, chief minister M K Stalin and legislators ended his speech within a few minutes.
Immediately, Speaker Appavu read out the full Governor’s Address in Tamil and said Ravi approved the government-prepared draft text. Though Ravi did not read out the full address, Appavu said he would not term it as a ‘lacuna’ or a missing part.
Governor opined that the national anthem should have been played at the beginning, the Speaker said.
“Everyone will have an opinion, discussing about them (in the House) is not the tradition. It is the culture of the Tamil Nadu government, and CM Stalin and MLAs to treat Governor Ravi who is in a high position with honour and dignity notwithstanding the differences in policies and ideology. There is no change in that,” Appavu asserted.
The Speaker said despite the state facing unprecedented rains and floods recently, the Centre did not give ‘a single paisa’ of funds to Tamil Nadu though the PM Care Fund has ‘several lakh crores.’
Referring to the Governor as ‘Ayya’ (sir), Appavu said he may as well ask him to get ‘from that fund’ about which the people “cannot pose questions,” assistance to the tune of about Rs 50,000 crore to Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, without naming anyone, he said: “You are no less than those who are the followers of V D Savarkar and (Nathuram) Godse.”
As soon as Appavu completed making this statement in the House, Governor Ravi quickly walked out of the House even as the Speaker said on the microphone that the national anthem would be played after the passage of the resolution including the customary address. However, Ravi continued and moved out of the House with officials in attendance.
Leader of the House and state minister for water resources Duraimurugan moved a resolution relaxing a rule to include the customary Governor’s address in Assembly records.
He said the 46-page text in both Tamil and English will figure in the Assembly records, and the resolution was passed by a voice vote.
Later, addressing reporters, Appavu said ‘personal’ remarks made by Ravi during his address to the House were ‘expunged.’
“What he read (from the prepared speech) is fine. After that he made some personal remarks which have been expunged,” Appavu said.
To a question on the national anthem, the Speaker said it is played the last on the day of the Governor’s address.
Citing house rules, he said the proceedings start with the Tamil invocation song ‘Tamil Thaai Vazhthu,’ followed by the Governor’s address, and upon completion of that, “finally, the national anthem is played.”
Prior to his address to the Assembly, the Governor is accorded a Guard of Honour where the national anthem is played, he added.