'Tamilisai will be respected if she behaves like a Governor': KTR hits back

The senior minister was reacting to an allegation by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan that the state government insulted the post that she holds.
Telangana Governor Tamilisai and Minister KT Rama Rao
Telangana Governor Tamilisai and Minister KT Rama Rao
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Telangana minister KT Rama Rao on Thursday, April 7, said that the state government will definitely respect Tamilisai Soundararajan, if she “behaves like a Governor.” He was reacting to an allegation by the Telangana Governor that the state government insulted her. On Wednesday, she had expressed concern over authorities not turning up for her official visits in violation of protocol, and reiterated that it was not about her as an individual but that the office of the Governor should be respected.

KTR, however, denied the allegation. He said that the state government respects Constitutional positions and it had nothing against the Governor. "Why will we have any problem with the Governor? If the Governor behaves like a Governor, we will definitely respect her," he said. During an interaction with the media persons in his constituency of Sircilla, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Working President denied that the Governor was insulted. "Where, when and how was she insulted? Let her be specific. If she feels that way, it's her imagination," he said.

The differences between Tamilisai and the state government appeared to have grown with the former on Thursday, taking exception to a minister's reported comments that she visited a famous temple in the state allegedly like a BJP leader. In retaliation, she told reporters, "Did I hold the flag of BJP when I went there (Lord Narasimha temple at Yadadri)? Did I get a battalion of the BJP? I went there with my husband, as a simple devotee. I was not bothered whether the EO (executive officer) came or the Collector came. I went to pray to Lakshmi Narasimha. That's all. Next day, the media reported that nobody came. So, without any evidence, how can they say that?"

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, claimed that the TRS government is acting as per the Constitution. "It is clear in the Constitution that the Governor should address the first session of the Legislature in a new year. Since the earlier session was not prorogued, there was no address by the Governor," he said referring to Soundararajan's objection to the state government doing away with the Governor's address to the Budget session.

The minister also took a dig at the Governor for not accepting the state government's recommendation to nominate P Kaushik Reddy to the Legislative Council. "I read somewhere quoting her that Kaushik Reddy's political background came in the way of his becoming Member of Legislative Council (MLC). Tamilisai Soundararajan was BJP state President in Tamil Nadu. Why didn't her political background come in the way of her becoming the Governor?," he asked.

KTR pointed out that the government had no issue when ESL Narasimhan was the Governor of the state. Meanwhile, Soundararajan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi during the last two days.

Speaking to reporters later, she further asked, "Is this the respect they are giving? I am not expecting respect. Again and again, I am saying, it is not for Tamilisai. It is for the office of Governor. Whoever may be the Governor, that post should be respected." She added that the Chief Minister was absent during the Constitutional Day celebrations. "So, nobody is representing (at events). That's the problem. Why is the Governor's office insulted and ignored like that? I am openly raising the issues with the people. Let them decide," she said.

"I am openly placing these issues before the people of Telangana. Forget I am the Governor. I am a sister sitting in the Raj Bhavan. Should my affection be respected or not, you tell me. As an ordinary person, not as a Governor. As an ordinary person, should a woman, a sister, be respected or not? That is my question. Leave everything. Telangana is a state with a rich culture," she said.

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