Raj Bhavan nearer than Delhi, Telangana Governor tells CS

A day after Telangana government approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to approve the pending bills, she told Chief Secretary A. Santhi Kumari that Raj Bhavan is nearer than Delhi.

The Governor also took potshots at the Chief Secretary for not making a courtesy call after taking charge as the top bureaucrat.

As the Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court was filed through the Chief Secretary, the Governor on Friday took to Twitter to train guns on the top official.

“Dear Telangana CS Rajbhavan is nearer than Delhi. Assuming office as CS you didn’t find time to visit Rahbhavan officially. No protocol!No courtesy even for courtesy call. Friendly official visits & interactions would have been more helpfull which you Don’t even intend,” reads a tweet from the official handle of Soundararajan.

“Again i remind you Rajbhavan is nearer than Delhi,” she added.

Santhi Kumari assumed office as Chief Secretary on January 11.

The Governor’s tweet came a day after Telangana government filed SLP in the Supreme Court through the Chief Secretary.

The government told the Supreme Court that the Governor didn’t give her assent to 10 bills. It pleaded with the apex court to direct the Governor to fulfill her constitutional obligation.

The SLP mentions that seven of these bills have been pending with Raj Bhavan since September while the other three were sent the Governor on February 13 after the budget session of the assembly ended.

The petition pleaded the Supreme Court to declare as illegal, irregular and unconstitutional the delay by the Governor.

“As per the mandate of the Constitution, the Governor has to necessarily clear the bills and any inaction to accord assent would lead to lawlessness,” the state government said in the SLP.

The state argued that if the Governor has any doubts on the bills, she can seek clarifications but she cannot sit on them. “If she raises any issues, we will clarify them. She cannot sit on them and the mandate of the Constitution in this regard is clearly in favour of the state,” the government contended.

This is the second time that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) has knocked the court’s door against the Governor.

Last month, the government moved Telangana High Court seeking direction to the Governor to give her approval to the state Budget for 2023-24. The court, however, had suggested both sides sort out the issue amicably.

Counsels of both the state government and Raj Bhavan had agreed to a compromise formula. While the government agreed to begin the Budget session of the Legislature with the Governor’s speech and the latter came forward to approve the Budget.

In November, the Governor had dismissed the allegations by BRS that her office was sitting on some Bills forward by the state government for her assent. She stated that she is taking time for assessing and analysing the Bills before giving her consent.

Education minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy had subsequently met the Governor to clarify her doubts on the Common Recruitment Board Bill.

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