Mamata calls M K Stalin, proposes meet of CMs of non-BJP ruled states
New Delhi/Kolkata: A convention of the chief ministers of opposition parties will soon take place in Delhi to discuss the "brazen misuse of power by the Governors of non-BJP ruled states". This was announced, on Sunday, by M K Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after a discussion with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called up Stalin and expressed her concern over the Constitutional overstepping of the Governor. They had a telephonic conversation and both agreed to hold a meeting of the opposition chief ministers in Delhi. The venue has not been decided yet.
Stalin tweeted: "Beloved Didi telephoned me to share her concern and anguish on the Constitutional overstepping and brazen misuse of power by the Governor of non-BJP states. She suggested a meeting of the opposition chief ministers. I assured her of DMK's commitment to uphold state autonomy. Convention of opposition CMs will soon happen out of Delhi."
The communication between Stalin and Banerjee took place after Tamil Nadu CM, earlier on Sunday, condemned West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar's decision to prorogue, with immediate effect, the ongoing session of the eastern state's legislative Assembly.
Stalin had tweeted: "The act of #WestBengal Governor to prorogue the WB Assembly Session is without any propriety expected from the exalted post and goes against the established norms and conventions." He further stated: "The 'symbolic' head of the state should be the role model to uphold the constitution. Beauty of democracy lies in extending mutual respect to each other."
Replying to Stalin, Dhankhar on his official Twitter handle stated: "Find it unusually expedient to respectfully invite indulgent attention of TN CM @mkstalin that his extremely harsh hurtful observations are not in the least in conformity with facts- attached order. Assembly was prorogued at express request @MamataOfficial @rajbhavan_tn." Dhankar also posted an official communication in this regard. Governor Dhankhar had prorogued the Assembly from Saturday based on the state government's recommendation.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh had earlier said: "The governor did not take the decision on his own initiative. He has prorogued the Assembly following the recommendation of the Cabinet. There is no confusion."
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha chief whip Sukhendu Sekhar Ray has already approached the Upper House secretariat demanding a discussion on the role of the Governor who is trying to intervene in the day to day functioning of the state government. Earlier Saugata Roy, Lok Sabha MP had requested Prime Minister to remove the Governor of Bengal. Trinamool Rajya Sabha MPs had staged a walkout along with DMK demanding the removal of the Governors of different non-BJP states for their highhandedness.
Trinamool has decided to table a motion demanding removal of the Governor in the West Bengal Assembly. Chief Minister has blocked the Governor on Twitter.
In Tamil Nadu, the Governor is sitting on a file sent by the state government where it proposed to introduce vernacular in answering the questions of medical examinations.
Reportedly, the row comes after Members of Parliament from several opposition parties and some retired bureaucrats on Thursday sent a joint memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the "attack on federalism" over the interference by Governors in non-BJP-ruled states and change in All India Service Cadre rules.
The action of the central government militates against democracy and federal governance, they alleged, saying "they are grossly unconstitutional" and can lead to undesirable crises.
The joint memorandum stated: "These amendments are designed to subjugate states and we collectively oppose the Centre's move to arrogate unto itself total control over the IAS through Central postings and transfers."
The MPs and former civil servants stated: "We caution the Centre against any unilateral move and make it clear that the States shall not agree to this unconstitutional usurpation of powers, even if it is pushed through, despite valid opposition from CMs and states." Incidentally, few states, especially those ruled by the non-BJP parties, have been strongly opposing the change in the IAS rules and several chief ministers have already written to the prime minister in this regard.
Meanwhile, political experts said though the role of the Governors in the non-BJP states is the immediate issue, the main purpose is to bring all the opposition parties under one umbrella against the BJP before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Mamata Banerjee is trying hard to ink an alliance of the opposition parties to oust BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.