Last Update: February 15, 2023, 11:39 IST
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (left) said it is still a mystery why Governor RN Ravi (right), who signed the ordinance banning online games, is still sitting on the bill. (News18)
The Tamil Nadu chief minister also criticized the BJP-led central government for promoting online sports instead of banning them in the Union budget.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has hit out at Governor RN Ravi over the delay in approving a bill to ban online gambling and regulate online gaming in the state.
The state assembly had approved an ordinance for the ban after an expert committee recommended action to prevent ill-effects of the game such as suicides and debt traps among youth.
The assent of the Governor was required for the bill to be implemented in the state. However, the ensuing back-and-forth between the Raj Bhavan and the government scuppered Stalin’s plan to end online gambling.
Referring to the number of suicides in the state in the last one week, Stalin questioned whether the governor was aware of them.
“How many more suicides does the governor need to sign a bill banning online gambling? The Madras High Court had directed the government to enact a law to ban online gaming but the governor has disrespected the state assembly which passed the bill. It is still a mystery why the governor who signed the ordinance banning online games is still sitting on the bill,” Stalin said.
He also hit out at the BJP-led Center for promoting online games in the Union Budget 2022-23. “TDS and tax on net winnings in online games have been proposed in the Union Budget. Instead of banning online games, the central government is recognizing them.
However, the opposition parties blamed Stalin for the delay in the Governor’s decision.
AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathyan said: “MK Stalin’s rule is full of incompetence and inefficiencies and whenever his incompetence is exposed in the public domain, he immediately passes the blame by blaming the governor or the central government. As far as online gaming is concerned, if the laws were made correctly without leaving any loopholes, the governor would have given his assent immediately. The governor immediately called them (DMK) to give clarity.
Sathyan argued that instead of blaming the governor, the ministers should have worked on getting the bill confirmed. “I think the ministers have not given clarity regarding the questions asked by the Governor. Instead of telling what was being asked by the governor and what was his response, just blaming him and saying he is sitting on the bill shows the level of preparedness and seriousness this government has got to ban online games .
BJP spokesperson Narayanan Tirupati also criticized the government. “When the ordinance was in force, why didn’t the Tamil Nadu government implement it? What stopped the government? Stalin has to give an explanation. When the Law Minister of the State said that the Governor has sought an explanation, he should give the explanation and the details of the Government’s response. The Chief Minister will have to clarify on this and will have to give clarification.
In October last year, the state government issued an ordinance to ban online gambling and regulate online gaming, which was signed by the governor. A month later, the state assembly passed a bill banning online games and the governor sought some clarifications. The state law minister had then said that the government had responded to the clarification and a positive response is expected from Ravi.
As the Bill is pending with the Governor, it has turned into a political controversy, underlining the strained Raj Bhavan-Secretariat relationship in Tamil Nadu. DMK allies protested demanding the return of RN Ravi as the governor of Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, matters have been further complicated by the heated developments around the governor’s refusal to read out parts of the speech prepared by the government in his address at the start of the recent assembly session. Political observers say the standoff is expected to escalate further in the coming months.
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