Rift widens further between Telangana Governor, CM

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The rift between Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao appears to have widened further with the latter staying away from Ugadi celebrations at the Raj Bhavan.

Though the Raj Bhavan had sent invitations to the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues, none of them turned up at the celebrations hosted by the Governor on Friday evening.

Raj Bhavan had also invited MPs, MLAs and MLCs to the event but no one from TRS turned up. Even the senior civil and police officials did not attend the celebrations.

In another indication of deepening differences between the CM and the Governor, she has not received the invitation for the main official Ugadi event held at Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of the Chief Minister, on Saturday.

The Governor said that she welcomes those who come at her invitation and doesn’t bother about those who don’t turn up.

Soundararajan told reporters had she received the invite, she would have set aside the protocol and attended the event.

While stating that she knows her limitations, the Governor made it clear that no one could check her. She said she did not have ego and she believed in maintaining good relations with all.

She also announced that ‘praja darbar’ would be held at the Raj Bhavan from next month to hear public grievances. She maintained that the Raj Bhavan is meant for the public welfare and keeping this in view it set up a grievance cell to address the problems of the public by sending representations to the government.

Soundararajan became Governor of Telangana in September 2019. The relations between the CM and Governor were initially cordial but differences cropped up last year after the Governor did not approve a file sent by the State Cabinet recommending appointment of P. Kaushik Reddy as a member of Legislative Council. She had told the media that since the nominated post falls in the category of social service, she is trying to get information about Kaushik Reddy’s social service works.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government later had to send Kaushik Reddy to the upper House of the state Legislature under MLA quota.

The CM and ministers had also not attended Republic Day celebrations at the Raj Bhavan. The rift was also visible when they had received President Ram Nath Kovind on his arrival in Hyderabad in February to unveil a gold statue of saint Ramanujacharya.

The differences deepened further after the state government commenced budget session of the State Legislature last month without customary address of the Governor. Soundararajan had taken exception to this. However, the government argued that there was no need for the Governor’s address as it was not a new session but continuation of the previous session.

The Governor was also not invited for the reopening of Yadadri temple on March 28. The Chief Minister had attended the rituals to mark the reopening of the temple after renovation.

She was also not invited to Medaram Jatra, the tribal fair held in February. She, however, visited Medaram but there have been allegations that the officials were not present to receive her.

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