Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan. File | Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
Denying charges that his office featured in some of the Bills sent by the government for his assent, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has confirmed that he is taking time to evaluate and scrutinize the bills before giving his assent.
The Governor expressed doubt that his phones were being tapped based on the way social media posts about the Raj Bhavan were being made. “It is projecting as if I am blocking bills, like creating a common recruitment desk to fill vacancies in universities and other institutions. In fact, ever since I took over as Telangana governor, I was asking the government to fill up all the vacant posts in the universities,” he said.
That he has been in contact with the vice chancellors in charge of the universities and that he has spent two or three hours to understand the situation of each university. After his insistence, the Government appointed vice-chancellors of the universities.
Dr. Tamilisai explained how to seek clarifications from the Government on the modalities of the formation of the joint procurement committee, its purpose, legal sustainability and some other aspects. “Why is the committee created? Is the proposal acceptable to the UGC? Will recruitment be the focus of the university or will it be centralized? If that is the case, there will be a lot of confusion,” he said, explaining that procurement should be efficient and effective and not party oriented.
As a result of inquiries from the States where these commissions were functioning, it was revealed that these commissions were functioning under the respective public service commissions. But there was no clarity on this aspect in the Bill forwarded by the State Government. “They want my permission without clarifying some important issues. I wanted things to be clear, so I looked for clarification. But it’s miscalculated that I’m sitting on Bill,” he lamented.
Asked when he would approve the bills pending with him, he said there was no time limit for the organization to clear the bills. “There is no time limit for the Governor to evaluate the Bill and give his assent,” he said.
The Governor expressed concern that Raj Bhavan’s name has allegedly been dragged into controversies, like the recent reported cases of attempts by senior BJP officials to nab some ruling party MLAs. “I doubt that they are being tapped over the phone as it was mentioned that I spoke to a Tushar. I am not involved in such attempts and I am not afraid of my phone being tapped,” he said.
When the Bill to set up private universities failed to get his assent, he said the Government intended to promote private universities at a time when Government universities were in turmoil. There were no desks for the students to study, nor was there even a light pipe in the hostels, there was no cleanliness leaving only mess. “Let the government universities improve by providing the environment for students to learn,” he said, adding that he had personally visited the university to assess their conditions before making these remarks.
The Governor said that he was not an egotistical person and therefore called the minister to seek clarification on the issues raised in the interest of the people of Telangana. In fact, it was the Government that did not follow protocol despite announcing their visits in advance. “Protocols are not followed and there were no collectors during my visits. But they still want to degrade this office,” he said.