The souring relationship between Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and the DMK ruling state government has become more apparent and has been hitting a new low as the DMK is assaying to remove Ravi from the office after the latter's recent remarks sparked major controversies and drew sharp criticism from the Dravidian outfits which said that the Governor has been wrongfully exercising his power and violating the Constitutional rights.
The ties between Chief Minister MK Stalin and RN Ravi have been in a sense of fragility ever since the latter took office and in recent times, Ravi's advocacy for Hindutva idealogy has turned the DMK red. Rewinding the events, Ravi has recently gone to the extent of branding India as a religious nation. While the Constitution strongly impedes calling India a non-secular nation, Governor Ravi's remarks have sparked a fresh wave of public outcry in the state.
Several leaders in the DMK and in its alliance have slammed RN Ravi for defying the Constitution, on which he took his oath as the Governor. The state leaders have been urging the Centre to withdraw Ravi as the Governor. In another instance, Ravi spoke about Hindutva idealogy in an educational institution in the midst of locking horns with the state government over the right to appointment of Vice Chancellors to the universities.
Recently, following the incident of a car cylinder blast in Coimbatore, Governor Ravi slammed the DMK government on why the probe was not transferred to the NIA (National Investigation Agency) immediately. While the probe was transferred within a day's time, the DMK leaders flay the Governor how can he order the government while he is observing idling conduct on the legislation passed by the assembly for a long time.
In an effort to remove Ravi from office, the DMK has chalked out a plan to sign a memorandum addressed to President Droupadi Murmu seeking the immediate withdrawal of the Governor. Senior DMK leader and its MP, TR Baalu has written to other DMK MPs and the MPs of like-minded parties to sign the memorandum. Baalu has requested the MPs to come to the DMK headquarters in Chennai, and read and sign the memorandum before Thursday - November 3.
In a statement that he issued on Tuesday, Baalu said, "Members of Parliament belonging to DMK and like-minded political parties are requested to kindly visit Anna Arivalaiyam Headquarters to read and sign in a memorandum addressed to Hon'ble President of India, pertaining to the immediate withdrawal of the Governor of Tamil Nadu." It has been reported that most of the parties in the DMK alliance are backing the memorandum and are preparing to add more pressure on the Governor.
Since Ravi took office in September last year, he has been getting caught in incessant controversies and this February, he faced outrage when he returned a Bill passed by the DMK government to the Assembly that is connected to seeking exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET. In June, DMK accused Ravi of undermining his constitutional authority after he said that the Hindutva idealogy of Sanatan dharma upholds unity and diversity.
Such remarks have triggered the wrath of DMK against him when the party is sharply working against the BJP and its idealogy. In a peak to his controversy, his latest comments against India's secularism and on the Coimbatore car blast have made the DMK plan to remove him from office. But, can a Governor be removed based on a memorandum? As per the law, the term of the Governor's office is normally five years but it can be terminated earlier by the President.
However, the President would remove the Governor on the advice of the Prime Minister. Having said that, removing RN Ravi from the office is quite impossible for the DMK government as its efforts would be blocked and vetoed by the center as Ravi has strong backing from the Central ruling BJP. It is pertinent to note that earlier, the DMK and its allies issued a joint statement urging the removal of RN Ravi from the office.
The statement was signed by the leaders of the allied parties and they alleged that the Governor has made a habit of stirring up controversy from the day he took office. Demanding that the Governor must stop speaking against the Constitution, the statement said, "That India is a secular nation is in the constitution. The Governor shows himself as someone who speaks only for one particular religion. That itself is unconstitutional. The Governor is supposed to treat all religions equally."
The statement further said, "It is only because he occupies the position of the Governor that we give so much importance to what he says. If RN Ravi is speaking as he does in order to please the BJP leadership, let him resign from his post and say whatever he wants to. If not, we demand that he stop speaking this way while he is in the post of Governor."