Hyderabad: Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan defended the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) brought by the Central government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the propos-d National Citizen Register (NRC), objecting to labelling them as ‘controversial’.
Dr Soundararajan used to be Tamil Nadu BJP chief prior to her appointment. On the eve of completing 100 days as Governor, Dr Soundararajan, in an exclusive interview to Deccan Chronicle, expressed her opinions on several issues, but refused to be drawn into any political issue.
Q: What is your opinion on controversial NRC and CAA?
A: First of all, I object to you calling them both as controversial. The CAA is the highest pride of Parliament as it has been passed in both the houses of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. It was done with the support of several political parties.
The central government has explained threadbare to the people that the CAA is not against minorities in the country, but only restricts citizenship for applicants of three countries. Most people understand.
The agitation against the CAA and NRC has spread to Telangana. But you say these two are not controversial?
It is my humble appeal to all youth and students. The government is here to look after you and will safeguard interests of all citizens. Please don’t get into agitation mode and instead, concentrate on your studies.
The government is here to safeguard your constitutional wellness and safety.
I am very concerned about destruction of properties. It is painful to me. Our country should be peaceful. We achieved our freedom through a great struggle. There is no injustice to anyone in this country. My country should come together as one, as it did after demonetization.
Several state governments, including the Telangana state government, have refused to implement the NRC and CAA? How do you react to this?
Each state is entitled to its own viewpoint, but the Act (CAA) has been passed. Different subjects come under different lists, such as centre, state and concurrent lists.
As a constitutional head of state, are you going to discuss with the Chief Minister and try to convince and change his mind over support to implementation of CAA and NRC?
Each and every Chief Minister knows their constitutional responsibility. They act accordingly. I have no need to try to convince or change the mind of the CM.
You have completed 100 days as Governor. How do you appraise of the political situation in the state. When you compare, where do you find the BJP is stronger – in Telangana or in Tamil Nadu?
As a Constitutional head, I don’t want to comment on BJP or any political issues. I won’t comment on the political situation or talk about any party. As a political party, the BJP may have its concerns and grievances.
As a head of a political party, you are a free bird. Do you feel restricted and constricted as a Governor?
I am still a free bird... in my thoughts.
As a politician, you rise through different routes. Does becoming a Governor limit your chances ahead?
I believe in destiny. This is not a full stop. I am always a positive and a people’s person....