TRS wary of Governor designate Tamilisai Soundararajan
K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi government which had been enjoying a smooth ride for the last five years on the back of cordial relations with outgoing Governor E S L Narasimhan, is expected to face hurdles in the coming days after Tamilisai Soundararajan takes charge shortly.
The TRS leadership is wary of the relationship with the new Governor who was the BJP chief in Tamil Nadu until her appointment on Sunday, unlike Narasimhan who was from the Indian Police Service and had no political background. Narasimhan will lay down office on September 5.
“Since Narasimhan had no political baggage, there were no conflict areas between him and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. In fact, he had been supportive of every decision taken by the TRS government without creating any hurdles. This might not be possible with Tamilisai whose party has its own interests in Telangana,” said a TRS leader, who did not wish to be quoted.
Narasimhan was appointed by the Congress-led UPA government in December 2009, when the last phase of Telangana movement picked up momentum. Though initially, he was against bifurcation of combined Andhra Pradesh state, he changed his stand after the formation of Telangana state in June 2014 and turned pro-Telangana.
“Though Narasimhan had been serving as the common Governor for both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, he was very much favourable to Telangana because of KCR’s administrative skills. Moreover, KCR used to consult the Governor before taking every decision and became his close confidant,” the TRS leader said.
At the same time, Narasimhan also enjoyed the backing of Narendra Modi government at the Centre and that made things easier for KCR.
However, things may not be so smooth for the TRS chief hereafter with Tamilisai Soundararajan in the gubernatorial position. The BJP unit in Telangana is certain there would be conflict between the CM and the governor.
“There will be no change in the Constitutional relationship between the chief minister and the Governor. But I think there would definitely be conflicts between Tamilisai and KCR in the coming days,” Telangana BJP official spokesperson K Krishnasagar Rao said.
The BJP spokesperson said Tamilisai would definitely not allow KCR to violate the Constitution blatantly, as he had been doing till now with the support of Narasimhan.
“For example, the chief minister engineered defection of several Congress and TDP MLAs in his first and second stints. He even gave a cabinet berth to a TDP MLA who had defected to the TRS without resigning from his assembly membership. Despite the hue and cry raised by the opposition parties, Narasimhan had administered oath of office and secrecy as a cabinet minister to that defecting MLA,” Rao pointed out.
“Such violation of Constitution will not happen under Tamilisai regime and that will create a tough time for KCR,” the BJP leader said.
But the TRS leadership is putting up a brave front, insisting the government is not spoiling for a showdown. “We don’t foresee any problems with the appointment of Tamilisai as the Governor of Telangana. Our relationship with her would be as smooth as we had with Narasimhan,” senior TRS leader and state planning board vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar said.
He, however, feigned ignorance on whether the Centre had consulted the Telangana chief minister before appointing the new Governor. “As a matter of tradition, the Centre should consult the state in this regard. I am sure BJP president Amit Shah might have talked to our party chief,” Kumar said.
Political analyst and columnist Prof K Nageshwar said appointing an active politician as the Governor of a state was against the federal spirit of the Constitution.
“Tamilisai has been an active BJP leader heading the Tamil Nadu party unit. Naturally, she will be compelled to follow the line of the BJP leadership at the Centre. However, if she can act independently and strictly go by the Constitutional spirit, there will be no issues with the state government,” he said.
He said the political leaning of a Governor would become apparent only when the position of the ruling party in the state is precarious due to lack of majority. “But in Telangana, the TRS has massive mandate. So, I don’t think the appointment of Tamilisai will have any impact on KCR,” Nageshwar said.