Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi Clears Online Gaming Bill Hours After MK Stalin’s Assembly Offensive

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi Clears Online Gaming Bill Hours After MK Stalin’s Assembly Offensive


MK Stalin moved a resolution in the assembly against the Governor today

Chennai:

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi has given assent to a bill seeking to ban online gambling and regulate online games hours after the assembly embarrassed him by adopting a resolution urging the President and the centre to instruct him to clear the bills within a timeframe.

The Governor last month returned the bill after 131 days since it was passed. The assembly then passed it for a second time and sent it to him.

The Governor also triggered a controversy after he told a group of civil service aspirants that withholding bills is a decent way of rejecting the bills. He had called them “dead bills”.

Forty-one people have died by suicide across Tamil Nadu, reportedly after losing huge sums to online gambling and chance-based online games. Although a similar law was enacted by the previous AIADMK government on regulating online gaming, a court had scrapped it. The DMK, after it came to power, framed the bill based on the recommendations by a specially constituted committee under former judge Justice K Chandru.

Today’s development is being seen as a morale booster for the ruling DMK and Chief Minister MK Stalin. “The Governor indefinitely withholding bills is against the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu. His controversial comments belittle the dignity of the house and undermine the legislature’s supremacy in parliamentary democracy,” Mr Stalin said.

Twenty other bills are still pending with the Governor, including a few that seek to remove him as Chancellor of state universities. A few months ago when  NDTV asked the Governor if it’s proper for him to sit on judgment on bills that aim to clip his powers than leaving for courts to decide, he had said the Constitution allows him.

The DMK government’s rocky ties with the Governor reflects similar dynamics in other states where the BJP is not in power. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, too, have had huge showdowns with the Governors of their states, with the chief ministers accusing the centre of influencing Governors to sabotage state government policies.

Mr Ravi had faced opposition during his tenure in Nagaland too. He has made controversial comments on the Tamil language and even suggested a name change for the state to Thamizhagam. He had skipped portions of the official version of the state government’s speech during his customary first address this year. Mr Stalin then got a resolution adopted immediately to record only the official version and not what Mr Ravi had read.



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