Chief Minister has upheld the dignity of Assemblies in all States, says Speaker

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M. Appavu. File

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M. Appavu. File
| Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Assembly Speaker M. Appavu on January 11, 2023 said that while Governor R.N. Ravi had caused “an unprecedented situation”, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin handled it in an intelligent manner and upheld the dignity of the House by moving a resolution immediately.

“Had the Chief Minister not moved the resolution, the Governor’s action would have caused shame to the entire country. The Chief Minister, by his intelligent action, upheld the dignity not only of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, but of the Assemblies of all States,” he said.

Mr. Appavu made it clear that the duty of the Governor was to address the House using only the printed speech. “Only the Chief Minister and the Cabinet are responsible for the content of the speech. The Governor’s role is over after reading out the address,” he said.

He also said the Chief Minister’s resolution for retaining the portions skipped by the Governor clearly defined the role and rights of Governors with respect to Assembly proceedings.

Also read:Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi walks out of House as Chief Minister M.K. Stalin objects to deviation from speech

The Speaker said the Governor had created “confusion” by skipping some portions and adding some on his own. “I do not know why he chose to do it. There were murmurs among the members, and the Chief Minister calmed them down with a gesture. Neither the House nor the government is responsible for the unprecedented situation. The Chief Minister sought my permission to relax Assembly Rule 17 in a dignified manner to record the entire content in the printed book. I appreciate the courage of the Chief Minister,” he said.

Mr. Appavu said though he understood the sentiments of Congress Legislative Party leader Selvaperunthagai and members of other political parties who assembled in front of the Governor and raised slogans, it should have been avoided. “I rule that such incidents should be avoided in future, in the interest of the decorum of the House. I limit my ruling because there was no untoward incident during the Governor’s address,” he said.

He also recalled a speech made by an AIADMK member, the late Thamaraikani, when the then Governor, Fathima Beevi, addressed the House in 1998. “Members such as Karuppasamy and Sundaram created a ruckus by covering their mouths with black cloth and standing on their seats. The Opposition members also caused embarrassing moments for the then Governor, Surjeet Singh Barnala,” he pointed out.

Mr. Appavu said the House would not allow anything that caused disrespect to the Governor. “Assembly Rule 92 (vii) is very clear that a member, while speaking, must not reflect on the conduct of the President or any Governor or Court of Justice, or use the Governor’s or President’s name for the purpose of influencing the debate,” he said.

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