A controversy has been brewing in Telangana, with the state unit of the Congress demanding the ouster of Governor ESL Narasimhan, who has been overseeing matters in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh since erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated.
Accusing the Governor of 'colluding' with the ruling TRS party, the Congress said that Narasimhan had become a 'yes-man' to the state government.
The entire issue began after a delegation of senior Congress leaders, including TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy, ex-Union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, V Hanumantha Rao, Shabbir Ali, Jana Reddy and Mallu Ravi among others, called on the Governor on Friday evening.
After entering the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad, the leaders were accorded a welcome and made to wait as per protocol. "Once we were settled, the governor walked in, we submitted our representation, posed for the photograph and then sat down to discuss the issues," one Congress leader told TNM.
Among the many issues that were discussed, one was the alleged indiscriminate sand mining in Telangana, including a recent incident when a Village Revenue Assistant (VRA) was allegedly mowed down by the sand mafia in Kamareddy
Read: Telangana village official tries to stop tractor, allegedly run over by sand mafia
However, Congress leaders claim that the Governor interrupted them, and said that the victim was a drunkard and died after he was hit by a brick lorry in a road accident.
According to the Congress leaders, Narasimhan repeated the claims made by the state government, Kamareddy District Collector Dr Satyanarayana and SP Swetha Reddy. Swetha and the police had earlier told reporters that it was a clear case of a road accident.
The Congress leaders and Narasimhan also the MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga, who was picked up by the police when he was protesting in his own house. The Madigas have been demanding the categorisation of SCs to ensure judicious distribution of reservation among all SC communities.
"However, even at this point, the Governor defended the TRS government and claimed that Manda Krishna was involved in a conspiracy to create law and order problems in the state," the Congress leader claimed.
As Congress leaders spoke and the Governor allegedly kept defending the TRS government, the exchange got heated.
According to leaders present at the meet, when the Governor demanded that the Congress members must withdraw their comments, Uttam told Narsimhan that he could not dictate what should be spoken, adding that he must listen.
Congress members said that Narasimhan got very rude as the meeting progressed, especially with Sarve Satyanarayana. After this, the Congress members asked the Governor not to treat the politicians like âschool studentsâ.
Satyanarayanaâs anger towards the Governor was evident when he addressed reporters on Saturday after meeting Manda Krishna.
"Governor Narasimhan is behaving like a TRS leader. He has become a yes-man to the ruling party. He is backing the government outright. When we tried to explain to him the anti-people policies of the state government, he did not listen patiently. Instead, he asked us to support the government. Yesterday, the Governor asked us not to speak against CM KCR and his son and minister KT Rama Rao. Whom should we approach when the Constitutional head is solidly backing the undemocratic measures of the state government?â he said.
Speaking to TNM, TPCC general secretary Dasoju Sravan, who was also part of the delegation, said, "I personally feel that the Governor should be sacked. A democracy works on checks and balances, and the Governor's office is a big example of that. If he colludes with the government, politicians run the risk of becoming dictators."
Sravan also points out that the High Court has pulled up the state government multiple times, all due to the unchecked and 'unmindful governance' of Telangana.
"The government has been cracking down on dissent, whether it is by removing Dharna Chowk or not letting TJAC Chairman Kodandaram hold a meeting. The Governor has been silent on all of this," he says.
Congress leaders also say that they are upset because Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is always seen prostrating in front of the Governor and reportedly carries gifts for him.
The leaders allege that there is quid pro quo, as the Governor did not want a tussle after the formation of Telangana and wanted to secure his post.
"Since Hyderabad is a joint capital, the Governor has been given a lot of special powers under the AP Bifurcation Act, 2014, but instead he is not functioning at all. The state is plagued with problems, and we are just asking that he should listen to all sides," Sravan says.
"Amid all this, he is forgetting that he is fundamentally supposed to be a neutral person. Instead, he functioning like a TRS party worker instead. It's annoying," Sravan adds.