T gana Guv takes exception to budget session sans her address

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Hyderabad, March 6

 Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has taken exception to the decision of the state government to commence the budget session of the legislature from Monday without her address.

A week after the state government decided to conduct the session without the Governor's address, she expressed her displeasure through a statement late Saturday.

Soundararajan, however, stated that she would give her recommendation for the presentation of the Budget as her primary intention is people's welfare.

She said the state government while seeking the recommendation of the Governor for the introduction of the Financial Bill had mentioned that the session would commence with the Governor's address.

"Unfortunately, on clarification, it was stated that it was inadvertent. Ironically, the note following democratic convention was stated as inadvertent.

"I, however, respecting the constitutional convention and going beyond political considerations and keeping up with the spirit of cooperative federalism, have conveyed my recommendation for the introduction of the Financial Bill. I had the liberty to take my time to give my recommendation. But knowing well that people's welfare is involved, and giving primacy to people's welfare, I gave my recommendation without any time lag," the Governor said

She did not agree with the government's contention that the Budget Session is commencing without the customary Governor's address as it is not a new session but a continuation of the earlier session.

"The House is meeting after five months. Under normal circumstances, when the House is convened after such a long interval, it is a new session, but the government has chosen to continue the earlier session".

Soundararajan argued that the Governor's address is an important instrument in upholding the democratic principles of making the government responsible to the elected members.

"The Governor's role is limited to being a catalyst to the democratic ideals enshrined in our Constitution. By not holding the Governor's address in this budget session, the members now stand to lose out on the opportunity to discuss the previous year performance of the government," she said.

She also stated that the Governor's address is not an address made by the office of the Governor but is a statement of the government in office.

"It's a report card of the activities and achievements of the government during the previous year and the policy indicatives for the ensuing year. It provides the occasion for the members to hold a meaningful discussion on the floor of the House and debate matters mentioned in the address."

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on February 28 decided to hold the budget session from March 7 without the customary address by the state governor.

The Opposition BJP slammed him for the decision. BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government insulted the Governor by deciding to do away with her address at the beginning of the session.

The TRS government, however, defended its move and brushed aside the criticism from the BJP. Minister for legislative affairs Vemula Prashant Reddy argued that there are precedents of holding a budget session of Assembly or Parliament without Governor or President's address when the previous session is not prorogued.

He pointed out that the ensuing session is a continuation of the session held in September-October last year.

According to him, the constitutional provision is that the Governor shall address a new session in a calendar year and not when the previous session was not prorogued.
 

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