The simmering conflict between the Hon’ble Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the Hon’ble Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan over the approval of the state Assembly’s Budget Session has been finally resolved after the state government filed a lunch motion on Monday in the Telangana’s Hon’ble High Court. Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan advised the Governor’s and the Telangana Government’s counsels to hold due deliberations rather than dragging the judiciary into a needless controversy.
The state Budget Session was scheduled to begin on February 3 but the Governor had not yet approved it. This sent the government into a tizzy and prompted the Telangana state government to file a lunch motion in the High Court. The wise Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan took up a hearing of the lunch motion petition moved by the state government, which sought a direction to Governor Dr. Tamilsai Soundararajan to approve the state Budget in the Assembly and Legislative Council on February 3. Following the much-needed advice of Chief Justice Bhuyan, counsels of the Telangana Government and the Raj Bhavan held discussions immediately. After the deliberations, the court was informed that the two sides had come to an agreement and the contentious petition could be dismissed. During the discussions, it was decided that the Governor would give the customary speech during the Budget session, and the Telangana government would provide a copy of the speech.
During the unusual hearing, the Chief Justice questioned the Telangana Advocate General as to how the court could give notice to the Governor. He pointed out that the Governor is the head of the Constitution in the state. He questioned the Advocate General why the judiciary was being dragged into the dispute between the government and a constitutional institution. “You (politicians) accuse the judiciary of meddling in all matters and overstepping its bounds when it comes to matters pertaining to legislative and executive choices. You have consistently argued that the judiciary should be kept solely within its purview. Now, how are you asking for judicial review to issue a mandamus to the Governor to do the stated duty?” Ujjal Bhuyan thundered.
The Senior counsel Ashok Anand appeared on behalf of the Governor. This was despite the High Court not issuing notices to the Governor as a respondent to the petition filed by the Telangana Government. Senior Supreme Court counsel Dushyant Dave representing the Telangana government’s contention was that the Governor was required by the Constitution to ratify the Bills and decisions taken by the Council of Ministers. Citing several Supreme Court judgments, Dave strongly argued that it is not to the personal satisfaction of the President or Governor to approve the decisions taken by the legislation. During the hearing, Ashok Anand complained that the Governor’s chair was not being respected. He pointed out that the government ignored the customary address during the Budget session last year. He also submitted to the court that the Chief Minister skipped the Republic Day celebrations at the Raj Bhavan even after an invitation. On the other hand, Dushyant Dave humbly contended before the court that the statements against the Governor were condemnable, not just because she is the Governor but also because she is a woman! The matter of budget presentation has been resolved with the High Court’s saner counsel to resolve matters amicably and not drag the judiciary into it. The question is how long the truce will last.
It is significant to note that the Hon’ble Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has not been showing respect to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan. The constitutional protocols must be adhered to with sincerity. Why is the Hon’ble Prime Minister not received by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao during the state visits? Apart from the protocol, we have been brought up to treat our guests well – Atithi Devo Bhava! Why are this noble teaching and our cultural Indian ethos not followed? The Hon’ble Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao deserves the full democratic right to criticize the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi’s policies and ideology. The line between the BJP leader and the prime minister must not be blurred! If the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits my house, I will respectfully welcome him and offer my guest due hospitality. I will hold my political criticism and disagreements for another day.
Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan nurtures great devotion towards public service and enhancement of living standards of common people with a focus on health and education as a prime agenda. She has donned the hat of being a State Head of a political party and steering it with exemplary management skills and a pro-people service milieu.
Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan is a proud recipient of an international award titled — “International Rising Star of the Year – 2018” by multi Ethnic advisory task force, USA under US Congressman Danny. K. Davis for her services to society especially in the field of Politics, Public and Medical Services.
Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan is known for her strong advocacy for uplifting the living standards of people through better health and preventive care. She is a great admirer of the social & cultural strengths of our country and very considerate towards the inclusion of values & humility right at the basic education system and upwards.
Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan happens to be very focused towards the development of society and the well-being of citizens even at the last mile. The social service activities of the Governor include Women Empowerment, Preventive Health Programs, and Medical camps for Women. All this is acknowledged by the Government of Telangana on its portal. However, there is a dichotomy regarding the BRS Government’s words and deeds in the treatment of the Hon’ble Governor!
The Hon’ble Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao nurses a grouse that the Hon’ble Governor Dr. Tamilisai has been withholding assent to eight bills. He could have persuaded her and opened communication channels to sort out the issues instead of showing disrespect and making allegations against her. Why was the Republic Day function at the Raj Bhavan boycotted by the Chief Minister? Does this tussle between two constitutional figures strengthen or weaken democracy? Even at the national level, Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao was hand in glove with the BJP Government and helped it in passing the widely perceived anti-Muslim laws in the Parliament. The love of his beleaguered daughter and the fear of the ED have perhaps forced the BRS leader Chandrasekhar Rao to change the political tune. But as they say – Ye public hai, sab jaanti hai!
The Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi should heed my advice and stop making political appointments to the august offices of the governors. Non-political eminent personalities, including a large number of women, should be appointed to facilitate cooperation and smooth functioning of the respective state governments. Efforts should be made to cut down the mutual trust deficit between chief ministers and governors. The constitutional authorities must not resemble the arena of a conflict between a domestic couple!
The Hon’ble Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao must not cross the Lakshman Rekha of political etiquette! He must respect the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Governor of Telangana Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan. All three eminent personalities must diffuse political tensions to prevent a constitutional breakdown. Dialogue and reconciliation augur well for democracy and our great country!