Governors in Opposition-ruled states are again in conflict with the elected governments there, forcing the judiciary to step in. A constitutional ambiguity has helped them sit endlessly on bills passed by the state legislatures
CAN’T SEE EYE TO EYE: Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi with CM M.K. Stalin. (Photo: ANI)
ISSUE DATE: Dec 4, 2023 | UPDATED: Nov 24, 2023 17:13 IST
Former governor of Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir B.K. Nehru once described the constitutional position as one reserved for a “burnt-out superannuated member of the ruling party for whom a governorship was a kind of luxurious retirement”. A former governor defined her role as a “super hostess”, while another claimed to have read 200 novels during his tenure. Tamil Nadu governor Ravindra Narayana Ravi may not be guilty of many of these but the former Intelligence Bureau officer is accused of sitting on bills passed by the state assembly for months on end (some of them for years). On November 20, when the Supreme Court censured him, it ignited a heated debate on not just his actions but also the governor’s role in India’s federal structure.