Students voter data row: DMK MP accuses Guv RN Ravi of committing election offence

Rajya Sabha MP Wilson said that the Governor had breached the norms of propriety by seeking voter data of the students.
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi
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Accusing Tamil Governor RN Ravi of committing an “election offence”, DMK MP P Wilson has sought a detailed inquiry into the incident of Tamil Nadu colleges collecting voter data of students. On March 14, a strange circular was issued by the Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University (TNTEU) asking the Principals of the colleges affiliated with it to collect voter IDs of the students. The order which has now been withdrawn, said that the Governor’s office has issued oral instructions to collect the voter IDs of students. The order was supposed to be treated as ‘Most Urgent.’

Taking the issue seriously, Rajya Sabha MP Wilson on Friday, March 15, Wilson asked Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister Rajakannappan to conduct a detailed inquiry and take necessary action against the erring officials. The MP also sought the intervention of President Droupadi Murmu in the matter. Alleging that the Governor has breached the norms of propriety, Wilson urged the President to call for a report on the incident. 

As per the order, Principals were requested to send the details of Voter IDs of the students in an Excel form before March 19 to the Governor’s office. But, following opposition from the students, the order was withdrawn. It remains unclear why the governor's office wanted the voter ID details of the students.

Seeking an explanation from the Governor, Wilson wrote on X, “... the Hon’ble Governor's office is answerable to the student community and people of the state as to why such information was sought. What was the objective behind asking for Voter IDs? Are students being targeted for elections? At whose behest were these details requested?”

The MP said that the offices of Governors are being used to play politics in universities across the country. Many states have reported that Governors are interfering in the appointment of Vice Chancellors and staff members in universities, with the sole intention of promoting their agenda, he said.

“Use of administrative machinery of the office of Governor to exert undue influence over the minds of young students is an election offence.” 

Read: Files stuck, doctoral degrees not awarded: How absence of VC has hit Madras University 

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