November 15, 2017
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is on a two-day visit to Coimbatore, sprang a surprise on Tuesday by conducting a review meeting with the district officials in the city.
While this action of his has elicited sharp criticism from the opposition parties, the aftermath of the meeting saw some twists and turns.
Minutes after the review meeting participated by Collector T.N.Hariharan, Commissioner of Police (CoP) A.Amalraj, Corporation Commissioner Vijayakarthikeyan and Superintendent of Police P.Moorthi among other officials was in progress, the CoP was transferred.
Political parties other than the ruling AIADMK has condemned the review meeting of development schemes held under the leadership of the Governor.
CPM State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said, “It is normal for a Governor to participate in the government functions and convocation ceremonies. But he calling for a meeting with the Collector and other officials and reviewing the development schemes is beyond his brief. This act has proven that the AIADMK government is under the control of BJP.”
The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi has also taken exception to the meeting. Its general secretary D Ravikumar said, “A Governor carrying out the works, usually undertaken during emergency, while an elected government is in place is contradictory to the provisions of the Constitution.”
To his question, Supreme Court lawyer S Prasanna has tweeted, “A Governor cannot conduct a review meeting of officials unless advised specifically by the council of ministers.”
While this has created a stir in political circles, State minister S.P.Velumani, who called on the Governor after his meeting with the officials, told reporters that he could not attend the meeting as he had “some other work.” Stating that he met the Governor in the morning itself, the minister rubbished the criticism and said, “The Governor holding a meeting with officials is a healthy trend.”
He further said it would help get central schemes for Tamil Nadu without delay and need not be construed as interference in state administration.
AIADMK MP S.R.Balasubramaniam also echoed his view and said there is precedence. “When Mohanlal Sukhadia was the Governor, he used to meet the officials directly. There is no rule that says he should not conduct review meetings. The ruling AIADMK has not given up the State’s rights.” The MP also said he did not see anything wrong in it and accused the opposition parties of trying to induce a fight (between the state and centre).
Toeing AIADMK’s lines, BJP state secretary Vanathi Srinivasan said Governor only inspected the people’s schemes and did not review projects.