Gov­er­nor meets of­fi­cials, trig­gers con­tro­versy

State au­ton­omy com­pro­mised: par­ties

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­porter

Tamil Nadu Gov­er­nor Ban­war­i­lal Puro­hit on Tues­day evening held a meet­ing with the top of­fi­cials of the Coim­bat­ore district, in­clud­ing Col­lec­tor T.N. Har­i­ha­ran, City Po­lice Com­mis­sioner A. Amal­raj (who was trans­ferred in the evening) and Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mis­sioner K. Vi­jayakarthikeyan, trig­ger­ing a po­lit­i­cal out­cry from Op­po­si­tion lead­ers who charged that the meet­ing was an af­front to the State’s au­ton­omy.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, ac­tivists and mem­bers of the pub­lic also par­tic­i­pated in the “in­ter­ac­tion” or­gan­ised at the Cir­cuit House, where the Gov­er­nor was stay­ing dur­ing his maiden visit to the west­ern city.

Mr. Puro­hit had come to Coim­bat­ore to at­tend the con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony at the Bharathiar Univer­sity in his ca­pac­ity as its Chan­cel­lor.

Emerg­ing af­ter the meet­ing, the Col­lec­tor told jour­nal­ists that the Gov­er­nor wanted to in­ter­act with of­fi­cials and know what was hap­pen­ing in Coim­bat­ore. It was not spe­cific to a project or a scheme or a depart­ment. He wanted to have a bird’s eye view.

It was only healthy that the Gov­er­nor in­ter­acted with the of­fi­cials

s S.P. Velumani Local Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter

Par­ties flay meet­ing

Crit­i­cis­ing the Gov­er­nor’s ac­tion, VCK leader Thol Thiru­mavala­van al­leged that it in­di­cated that the Cen­tre was in­ter­fer­ing in the State’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. Six mem­bers of the Than­thai Peri­yar Dravi­dar Kazhagam staged a protest near the Cir­cuit House and raised slo­gans against the meet­ing. The po­lice re­moved them.

How­ever, Local Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter S.P. Velumani, who hails from Coim­bat­ore, said it was only ‘healthy’ that the Gov­er­nor “in­ter­acted” with the of­fi­cials. Deny­ing that he was “kept out” of the meet­ing, Mr. Velumani said he had met the Gov­er­nor at the air­port here and had a de­tailed dis­cus­sion with him.

Separately, Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter K. P. An­bal­a­gan con­tended that the Gov­er­nor’s ac­tion would not amount to in­ter­fer­ence in ad­min­is­tra­tion. It would in no way af­fect the State’s au­ton­omy.

MDMK youth wing sec­re­tary V. Eswaran said while there was noth­ing wrong in the Gov­er­nor in­ter­act­ing with the of­fi­cials, it would be wrong if he had re­viewed projects. The Gov­er­nor would do well to stay within his con­sti­tu­tional lim­its and not call dis­trictlevel of­fi­cials for a meet­ing.

BJP State gen­eral sec­re­tary Vanathi Srini­vasan said it was def­i­nitely not a re­view meet­ing.

The Gov­er­nor wanted to make use of his maiden visit to in­ter­act with the of­fi­cials, NGOs and mem­bers of the civil so­ci­ety, and that was what he was do­ing, she added.

To mis­con­strue it as a re­view meet­ing would be far fetched, she con­tended and de­nied that State Min­is­ters were asked to stay away from the Gov­er­nor’s in­ter­ac­tion with of­fi­cials.

Ban­war­i­lal Puro­hit

See­ing red: Op­po­si­tion par­ties say the Gov­er­nor’s ac­tions are tan­ta­mount to in­ter­fer­ence in State af­fairs.

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