We remember that in the past, Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanasamy and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal used to sit on dharnas at the gates of the Raj Bhavan. The power of the elected representatives was ridiculed by the Governors there.
These power interferences are not only confined to the Union Territories, but also extended to the states. In order to clear the path for its Hindu Rashtra dream, the RSS-BJP has been sending its spies under the guise of “Governors” and using them to control the opposition-ruled states.
This has led to an open conflict between opposition Chief Ministers in Tamilnadu, Kerala, West Bengal & Maharashtra and the Governors, who are the overseers of the RSS.
In Tamilnadu, within a few months after DMK assumed office, the then Governor Banwarilal Purohit was transferred to another state before completing his five-year term and R.N. Ravi, who was the Governor of Nagaland, was appointed as the Governor of Tamilnadu.
Governor Ravi, who had an intelligence background, as everyone expected, crossed his power limits and interfered in the functioning of the state government. As soon as he took over, he created a sensation by calling the DGPs of Law and Order and Intelligence in person. He asked the Chief Secretary to report directly to him.
Even the DMK’s allies, including the VCK and the Tamil Nadu Congress, had already started expressing their disregard to Governor R N Ravi. The DMK, which initially remained silent, was also forced to openly protest against the Governor’s continued bureaucratic attitude.
R N Ravi had kept pending the resolution against NEET passed by the Tamilnadu Assembly for more than four months without sending it to the President. Irked by the fact that he went to meet Amit Shah and waited for more than 10 days and Amit Shah refused to meet him, T R Baalu said, “Tamilnadu Governor R N Ravi should resign”. Since then, the conflict which had been going on covertly became apparent. Finance Minister PT Palanivel Rajan said that so far 19 Bills have not been approved.
Governor Ravi is not only interfering in the functioning of the state government but is also propagating his ideology like a RSS cadre. In his greetings for Republic Day, he had said that “divine Holy Scripture – Thirukkural”, “The wisdom of life and beyond embedded in Thirukkural constitutes a fountainhead of Bharat’s eternal spirituality”, “Lord Rama lives eternally in the hearts of every Indian citizen”.
Presiding over the recently held South Zone Vice Chancellors’ Meet, he said that “India was made up of diverse cultural and spiritual values of the people who lived from one end of ‘Bharat’ to the other and the Constitution of India defines India as ‘Bharat’ before it refers to it as a Union of States”.
In the neighbouring state of Kerala, the conflict between the Pinarayi Vijayan-led CPM government and the Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had begun two years ago.
When a resolution was passed in the Kerala Assembly against the Citizenship Amendment Act with the support of the Congress, the Governor lashed out that, “I will not be watching all this; This is against the Constitution”.
In February, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had appointed former BJP state committee member Hari S Kartha as his additional personal assistant. The Pinarayi-led government had opposed the appointment. “No one in government has the authority to control Raj Bhavan” Arif furiously said. He refused to endorse the government’s policy statement. Finally, the Governor read out the policy statement only after the Principal Secretary KR Jyothilal, who wrote a letter to the Governor on behalf of the government, was transferred.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar recites the mantra “law and order has deteriorated” whenever any problem arise in the state. He has been effectively interfering in the day-to-day functioning of the government and putting pressure on the Mamata government, even if he finds a small reason.
After Mamata’s victory in the May 2021 Assembly elections, clashes broke out between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress at several places. Despite the tussle was between the two sides, Jagdeep Dhankhar started reciting “law-and-order” by targeting the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been alleging that Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is holding several files sent by the government without signing them. Due to this confrontational trend, Mamata has written several times to the Prime Minister urging him to withdraw the Governor.
While the Mamata government was contemplating on passing a resolution against the Governor in the Assembly session, the Governor had on February 12 prorogued the West Bengal Assembly by exercising the power vested with him under Article 174 of the Constitution. Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin immediately condemned this. However, he later clarified that he had prorogued the Assembly on the recommendation of the ruling party.
Recently, eight people were killed when houses were set ablaze in Birbhum area following the killing of a Trinamool Congress panchayat leader. West Bengal was boiling at its peak after the incident. On March 28, legislators of the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Opposition BJP came to blows and a legislator was injured in the Assembly. This gave the Governor a golden opportunity to initiate a coup.
Rejecting Mamata’s objection the Calcutta High Court ordered a CBI probe into the Birbhum riots case. This action of the High Court could be viewed as a major step towards that. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha about this violence, the BJP MP Roopa Ganguly said that President’s rule should be imposed in West Bengal.
Like Tamilnadu Governor Ravi, Jagdeep Dhankhar is also presenting himself as an open Sangh Parivar member. He welcomed the High Court’s order banning Muslim girls from wearing hijabs in educational institutions in Karnataka. He also recently welcomed the film “Kashmir Files”, which is based on a lie that the saffron gang brought up for its anti-Muslim agenda. He has been a special invitee to an event of a religious institution with RSS background.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been a ‘big bother’ to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Similar to the Governors of West Bengal and Kerala, he has been intervening in the day-to-day affairs of the government and is opposing everything.
During the corona lockdown, he taunted by saying that the state government should take steps to open temples. “There is no safety for women in Maharashtra and there should be a special discussion on this in the Assembly”, he said. He has also been delaying the approval of various schemes being brought by the government.
In February last year, Nana Patole, who was the speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly, resigned from his post and became the state Congress president. Governor Koshyari had refused permission to hold elections to elect a new speaker. Amendment made by the Rules Committee of the State Legislature to conduct the election of the Speaker by a voice vote instead of a secret ballot is said to be the reason for this.
The fact of the matter is that Uddhav Thackeray’s amendment to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules was due to the fear that if indirect elections were to take place, his allies would be bought through horse-trading and his government will be toppled.
Koshyari had also refused to accept the list given by the ruling party for the appointment of 12 members for the Legislative Council in the Governor’s quota. To date, these 12 MLC seats remain vacant. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari is working in line with the objective of the RSS-BJP, which is actively working to topple the Shiv Sena-led government at any cost.
The interference of pro-RSS Governors in state governments is not the problem of ruling parties. It is associated with ridiculing of the supposed sovereignty of the state governments. Even though the RSS-BJP get defeated in the elections, they retain power through their overseers called Governors. Thereby, the state governments are not able to function independently.
The demands of the people, including the anti-NEET bill and the resolution to release seven convicts, remain pending without Governor’s assent. The Governors are indulging in intolerable bullying such as supporting the hijab ban, supporting the NEET-New Education Policy, and propagating hindutva venom. They should be driven out of the state through mass agitations. It is only through the path of struggle that the powers of the RSS-BJP, which is interfering with the powers of the states, can be curbed.