Can He Do That? TN Governor Seen Bypassing State Ministers To Hold Direct Meetings With Officials Banwarilal Purohit

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday (14 November) held several review meetings with top district officials in Coimbatore, reports The News Minute. This has clearly not gone down well with the opposition, and several politicians have raised their objections to it. Purohit was in Coimbatore to attend the convocation ceremony of Bharathiar University of which he is the Chancellor.

He held meetings with district officials, including the district collector, commissioner of police, municipal commissioner and other senior officials later in the day.

This has sparked off a debate on whether he has stepped across the line and interfering in the matters of the administration.

Objecting to Purohit's meetings in, G Ramakrishnan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) said, “This only proves, yet again, that the government here is under the control of the BJP and is acting as its handmaiden”.

However, several bureaucrats seem to be alright with it. One official said that it was normal for such interactions, while another said that the Chief Minister and Governor have always had a cordial relationship and therefore it was nothing new.

Other bureaucrats, while disagreeing with the Governor’s interactions stated that the Head of State would have to familiarise himself with the bureaucracy, but stated that so long as his interactions didn’t give out instructions or orders, he was within his rights to do so.

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan called it unconstitutional and unnecessary for the Governor to intervene in the administration.

A Congress representative meanwhile said that it was unhealthy for the Governor to bypass the Chief Minister or the state’s Cabinet.

Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (DMK) MP R S Bharati termed the actions ‘completely unacceptable’, and claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to do what it had done in other states.

BJP state president Tamilisai Sounderajan, while defending the Purohit, said that it need not be looked at negatively just because there was no precedent to it.

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