Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi rose to speak at the House on Monday, but did not read his address (Screengrab/ANI)
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi refused to read the Governors' Address before the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday, breaking from constitutional convention. The Governor of the southern state said that his request to play the national anthem at the beginning and end of Tamil Nadu Assembly sessions have been ignored and he did not agree with the address given to him. He said reading the address would constitute a 'constitutional travesty'.
As per Article 176 of the Indian Constitution, the first session of a legislative assembly every year begins with an address by the Governor. The Governor's address is prepared by the respective state government and lists the policies and laws that are of priority of the concerned government.
On Tuesday, Governor RN Ravi rose to speak to the legislative Assembly and said, "My repeated request & advice to show due respect to the national anthem and play it at the beginning & end of the address has been ignored. This address has numerous passages with which I convincingly disagree on factual and moral grounds. I lending my voice to them would constitute a constitutional travesty. Hence, with respect to the house, I conclude my address. Wish this house a productive and healthy discussion for the good of the people."
RN Ravi's decision to not read the address prepared by the government is likely to worsen his already poor ties with the MK Stalin-led DMK government in Tamil Nadu.
Last year, Governor Ravi had skipped a paragraph of the address prepared by the government. The paragraph contained references to Tamil stalwarts and the term 'Dravidian Model of governance', according to a The Hindu report in 2023.
Subsequently, the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly M Appavu read the Tamil translation of the address with the paragraph that RN Ravi had skipped. Chief Minister MK Stalin demanded that only the full and approved address be put on record. Stalin's opposition to RN Ravi's tweaks in the address led to the Governor abruptly walking out of the House.