DMK allies Congress, VCK accuse TN governor of discrimination
Chennai: The allies of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) have accused the Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit of being a member of the Sangh Parivar after the Raj Bhavan released photos of his with new JP state president K Annamalai on Friday.
Criticising Purohit, Congress and VCK leaders said that the governor was behaving with a political bias as he refused to take photos with them earlier in July when they had visited him to submit petitions. The governor, they said, informed them that he has stopped clicking pictures of his meetings.
“We can’t insist that he take photos with us but if it is his policy, he has to be consistent. This is a clear case of discrimination,” said VCK MP D Ravikumar. “By taking photos only with BJP leaders and releasing them he is openly showing his political alliance which is in contradiction to his post. A constitutional authority should be neutral,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Mahila Congress also condemned the governor and asked him to explain why he was acknowledging only one political party. “Governors are constitutional entities who must transcend political and communal affiliations but he posed for a photograph with the BJP like a committed Sangh Parivar member,” said R Sudha, state president, Tamil Nadu Mahila Congress. A Congress delegation of two MPs, S Thirunavukkarasar, S Jothimani, legislative party leader K Selvaperunthagai and Sudha had met the governor on July 8 to submit a petition against fuel price hikes. She said that their phones were also taken away to be sanitised.
Ravikumar said that even back in 2019, they were not allowed to take photos with him. “We had met him in September 2019 to submit a petition for the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and we requested for a photo because it is news and we wanted to keep a record. We do that when we meet union ministers also,” he said. On July 8, VCK founder president and MP Thol Thirumavalan met the governor to submit a petition to give representation for Adi Dravida community while appointing vice chancellors in universities that are under the Department of Higher Education on the basis of social justice. “Because the governor is also the chancellor of universities, this petition was submitted to him,” says Ravikumar who wasn’t present at this meeting. “Is the Raj Bhavan a Sanghi retreat,” tweeted VCK’s deputy general secretary, Vanni Arasu.
An official from the Governor’s office who did not wish to be named said that they are aware of the issue but they have no comments on it.
Purohit was appointed as governor of the state in September 2017 and he has been embroiled in controversies in the past particularly with the DMK staging several protests in the past when they were in the opposition.