Will Telangana Governor go the Kiran Bedi way?

Newly appointed Governor of Telangana Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan is considering holding a `Praja Durbar’ in order to meet the people to hear their complaints and suggestions. She said so on her Twitter handle, which she handles herself, while responding to a request by MBT leader Amjedullah Khan. He had requested Dr Soundararajan to hold a Praja Durbar “at least once in a week so that the general public facing problems can meet her and represent the matter”.

“Thankyou for the suggestion. Already under my consideration,” Dr Soundararajan had responded to Amjedullah Khan on Twitter.

The request of course, was very political. Khan had accused chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of being “Mr India” saying “he does not come to the Secretariat or meet public at his Camp office”. 

That there will be an enthusiastic response if the Governor starts meeting common citizens was obvious from the response on Twitter to her reply to Khan. Many including those fighting to save water bodies or against steep school fees, evinced interest in meeting her. However, many also told the Governor that she was only a Constitutional head, not a People’s representative.

The question then is whether Soundararajan who has said she will learn Telugu in 15 days, will start using Raj Bhavan as an outreach centre. A parallel will be drawn with Puducherry where Lt Governor Kiran Bedi has held public meets at Raj Niwas and also conducted inspections and field visits. She regularly interacts with ministers and government officials, that have set her on a collision course with the V Narayanasamy-led Congress government in the Union Territory that accused her of exceeding her brief. 

The TRS that enjoyed a good rapport with the previous Governor ESL Narasimhan, is already wary of Soundararajan’s BJP past and is not likely to be amused if Raj Bhavan starts acting like a BJP outpost. When she took over, BJP spokesperson Krishnasagar Rao had told Filter Kaapi that “she will not be a nodder like her predecessor. We believe she will ensure all constitutional rights and provisions are protected in Telangana.”

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