A brief look at infamous stint of Tamilisai as Telangana Governor

Undermining constitutional positions to suit their political needs is not new in Indian politics. Both the Congress and the BJP have misused the Governor’s office to further their political agendas. However, it hit an all-time low during the tenure of BJP-appointed Tamilisai Soundararajan as Telangana Governor.

Looking back at history, during the peak of the Telangana movement, the then UPA government had appointed the shrewd IPS Officer ESL Narasimhan as the Andhra Pradesh Governor to crush the movement. Nevertheless, the statehood movement survived, and KCR brought the struggle to a logical conclusion.

Following the formation of Telangana, the state saw a different KCR, and Governor Narasimhan reciprocated with the changed circumstances. KCR and Narasimhan maintained unprecedented bonhomie, and the Governor performed his role well by cooperating with the state government to see the young state flourish. Their relationship was so strong that the Governor became emotional when he was transferred. Recently, the former Governor even visited KCR while he was recuperating from hip replacement surgery.

However, things took a turn for the worse with the appointment of Tamilisai as Telangana Governor. The BJP decided to trouble the non-BJP ruled states through Governors. Governors in Tamil Nadu, Bengal, and Telangana started interfering in the day-to-day affairs of the government, disturbing governance. Tamilisai was one notch above her counterparts in this mischievous game.

The appointment of Tamilisai as Governor was riddled with controversy. Despite the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations to have a mandatory cooling-off period before a politician is made Governor, the central government appointed the active politician Tamilisai as Governor. She was the BJP state unit president of Tamil Nadu until a day before her appointment as Governor.

From day one, Tamilisai acted more like a politician than a Governor. Despite KCR’s efforts to maintain cordial relations, Tamilisai didn’t reciprocate. When Tamilisai’s husband retired, KCR even met the couple personally and felicitated them.

From stalling important bills to making public comments against her government, Tamilisai placed all possible roadblocks to complicate things between the CM’s office and the Governor’s office. The Governor even tried to run a parallel government by organizing Praja Darabar, despite constitutional experts advising against the plan.

In Republic Day speeches and other official addresses, the Governor directly clashed with the KCR government. The Governor quota MLC issue was the darkest episode in Tamilisai’s tenure. She rejected the nomination of two MLCs made by the KCR cabinet. Setting aside the rejection, the High Court stated that the Governor can’t reject bills but can only act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

During her infamous tenure, she proved to be a BJP politician at heart in every moment. Now, Tamilisai contemplating entering the Lok Sabha poll fray once again only justifies the fact that she was a ‘political governor’.