In a reaffirmation of its stance, the Tamil Nadu government, led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, reiterated its decision to refrain from implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The government cited concerns over the potential impact of the CAA on the unity and diversity of the state.
Meanwhile, on February 12th, during the inaugural session of the year, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi opted not to deliver the full text of his address to the Assembly. Instead, he concluded his speech in just three minutes, expressing dissatisfaction with the repeated demands to play the National Anthem before and after his address.
A statement issued by Rajbhavan later criticized the content of the customary address prepared by the government, alleging that it contained misleading claims and facts. The release accused the state government of disregarding the Governor’s advice on revising the address text. Additionally, the release denounced Assembly Speaker M Appavu’s conduct, accusing him of lowering the dignity of his chair by making partisan remarks.
According to the release, after the Speaker concluded the address, the Governor rose for the national anthem as scheduled. However, the Speaker deviated from the schedule and launched a verbal attack against the Governor, labelling him a follower of Nathuram Godse. The release condemned the Speaker’s behaviour, stating that it tarnished the dignity of his position and the grace of the House.
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi, who chose not to read the full text of his speech during the session, concluding it in just three minutes. The Rajbhavan release later criticised the government’s address for containing misleading claims and facts, leading to a verbal altercation between the Governor and the Speaker. However, Speaker Appavu has now expunged those remarks from the record.
The government’s address, accepted by the house, emphasized the commitment to protect communal harmony and the rights of minorities and Sri Lankan Tamil brethren. It explicitly stated the government’s refusal to permit the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state.
This reaffirmation by the DMK government aligns with its previous resolution adopted in September 2021, opposing the CAA. The resolution emphasised that the act is not in line with the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution and is not conducive to communal harmony in India. Interestingly, the AIADMK, which had previously supported the CAA, has now shifted its stance after leaving the NDA alliance, expressing its determination to prevent any harm to minority communities.
AIADMK General Secretary Edapadi K Palaniswamy stated firmly that the party would not allow the implementation of the CAA, emphasising its commitment to protecting the rights and interests of minority communities.
Meanwhile, the government’s address emphasised the importance of creating an equitable and inclusive society by ensuring that welfare schemes reach the most deserving sections of the populace. Chief Minister MK Stalin had addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to conduct a caste census alongside the national decadal census, which has been due since 2021. The government expressed confidence in the robust and comprehensive methodology of the proposed caste census, considering it a crucial step towards evidence-based policymaking. It remains hopeful that the Union Government will heed this request.
The ongoing tensions surrounding the Governor’s address underscore the challenges of navigating political narratives and maintaining unity within the Assembly. Despite the disagreements, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to the welfare of Tamil Nadu’s populace and upholding communal harmony.
As the Assembly continues to grapple with these issues, it remains to be seen how the differing viewpoints will be reconciled, and whether constructive dialogue can prevail in addressing the state’s pressing concerns.