TN Governor stokes row by holding review meetings



amil Nadu's new Governor Banwarilal Purohit has stoked a major controversy by convening a meeting of officials here to review development works, an action that has come under all round attack from opposition parties.

Unfazed, Purohit said he will carry out similar inspections in all districts of the state in the coming days.

Purohit, who took over as Governor last month, made his maiden visit outside Chennai to first participate in the convocation ceremony of Bharatiyar University on Tuesday. 

Later, he undertook a review meeting in which the Coimbatore Collector, Police Commissioner and Corporation Commissioner and other top officials participated.

The Governor's action touched a raw nerve in the opposition parties, which accused him of stepping on the toes of the elected government, harming state autonomy.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin said the Governor's action would erode the autonomy of the state. Instead, he should attend to his duties by ordering a floor test in the state Assembly for the AIADMK government headed by E. Palaniswamy, Stalin said.

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanaswamy, who is fighting a turf war with Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, said the "disease" has spread to Tamil Nadu from the Union Territory. 

He said a Governor had no business convening a meeting of officials to review works and giving instructions to them. This should be put an end to, he added.

Leaders of the CPI-M, Viduthalai Chiruttaigal Katchi (VCK) and AIADMK (Amma) headed by T.T.V. Dinakaran also flayed the Governor saying his action would erode the powers of the elected government in the state.

Anwar Raja, an AIADMK MP, said had Jayalalithaa been alive, such a development would not have taken place.

However, Purohit made it clear he would not be affected by criticism. 

Along with Minister for Municipal Administration S.P. Velumani, he visited the solid waste management plant installed in a residential society in the industrial city. 

He also held discussions with NGOs and resident welfare associations working on solid waste management.

Earlier, he inspected the Gandhipuram bus stand and took part in a cleaning drive there as part of the Swachch Bharat initiative.

"I have been carrying out inspections from yesterday. A few are trying to create controversies over my visit. Only when I visit places I will know about the works that are being carried out and give feedback to the government. 

"Till now I thought Maharashtra was better in cleanliness but now I have changed my mind as Tamil Nadu is far better. I have no hesitation in saying this," Purohit said.

Echoing similar views, Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamil Isai Soundararajan said there was nothing wrong in a Governor undertaking review meetings and this cannot be called interference in the working of the state government. 

"Even Minister Velumani has welcomed it. Why are the opposition parties apprehensive of the Governor's action?" she said.- IANS