Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday said that he has asked chief ministers of states not under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule to urge the Centre to fix a time for governors to approve bills passed by Assemblies.
In a letter dated April 11, Stalin told the chief ministers that some governors are “indefinitely holding various bills” that have been passed by the state legislatures. Stalin said this brings state administrations to a standstill.
“The Consitution of India has clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the Union and state governments along with the role of governor,” Stalin said. “However, it is observed that such time-tested principles are neither respected nor followed, affecting the functioning of the state government.”
He cited the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022, which Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi approved on April 10 only after the state Assembly adopted a resolution urging the president and the Centre to instruct him to clear bills within a stipulated time.
The bill proposes that those who participate in online gambling could be fined Rs 5,000, or be sentenced to jail for up to three months, or both.
Ravi had rejected the bill last month saying that the Tamil Nadu Assembly had “no legislative competence” to frame it. The bill was among the 20 others still pending with Ravi, including one that seeks to remove the governor as chancellor of state universities.
In his letter to the chief ministers, Stalin said that he is aware that many other states have had similar run-ins with governors.
“As you are aware, Indian democracy today stands at a crossroads and increasingly we are witnessing the fading away of the spirit of cooperative federalism from the governance of the nation,” he said.
Besides Tamil Nadu, governments in Kerala, Delhi, Telangana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, have raised concerns on how governors of their respective states have been interfering in administrative work and delaying approval of bills.