The confrontation between Raj Bhavan and the Tamil Nadu government continues as the Governor RN Ravi on Monday declines to read the full customary address in the Legislative Assembly: second time in the last two years.

Last year, the Governor abruptly walked out of the Assembly as Chief Minister MK Stalin disapproved of his selective deviation from the approved text of the Governor’s address to the House. A resolution was also moved to take on record only the transcript distributed to the members.

On Monday, the Governor read the introduction of the prepared speech given by the State government on the inaugural day of the Assembly for the year 2024.

The Governor made some remarks in the Assembly. However, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to take on record only the speech prepared by the State government and not his shortened speech and the remarks citing reasons for his refusal to read the entire speech.

The speaker M Appavu, reacted sharply to the Governor not reading the full text and urged him to get flood relief funds from the Centre and also made references to Savarkar and Godse.

The Governor left the House without staying back for the National Anthem.

The controversy has subsequently led to a series of reactions.

A release from Raj Bhavan said the draft Governor’s address was received at the Raj Bhavan, from the State Government, on February 9, 2024. The address had numerous passages with misleading claims far from the truth. The Governor returned the file with advice like showing due respect to the National Anthem and playing it at the beginning and end of the Governor’s address. In the past, the Governor had even written letters to the Chief Minister and Speaker in the past, said a release from Raj Bhavan.

Governor’s address should reflect Government’s achievements, policies and programmes and to inform the house of the “causes of its summons” and should not be a forum for peddling misleading statements and venting blatantly partisan political views. However, the Government chose to ignore the advice of the Governor, the release said.

The Governor in his address on Monday read out the first paragraph that contained a Kural (738) of the renowned Saint Thiruvalluvar. Thereafter, he expressed his inability to read the address as it contained numerous passages with misleading claims and facts and reading them would have amounted to the Governor’s address becoming a constitutional travesty. He expressed his respect to the house, and concluded by wishing the session to be productive “for the good of our people of Tamil Nadu.”

The speaker read the Tamil version of the address and the Governor sat through it till the conclusion of address

“When the Speaker concluded the address, the Governor rose for the National Anthem, as scheduled. However, the speaker instead of following the schedule launched a tirade against the Governor and called him a follower of Nathuram Godse and more. The speaker with his unbecoming conduct lowered the dignity of his chair and the grace of the House,” the release said.

State Law minister S Raghupathy said for years the routine was to play the Tamizh Thai Vazhthu (State song) before the Governor’s address and the National Anthem after the address. This was also conveyed to the Governor earlier, he said.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s speech prepared by the State government was in parts critical of the Centre on issues like the GST regime; on the non-release of funds for Chennai Metro Rail project and will never permit the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act.