Kerala Governor Keeps Up Attack On Chief Minister, Cabinet

Mr Khan’s comments came two days after his convoy was allegedly attacked. New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Kerala Governor Keeps Up Attack On Chief Minister, Cabinet

Mr Khan’s comments came two days after his convoy was allegedly attacked.

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram:

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday continued his scathing attack on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet by alleging that “they have absolutely no shame”.

The Governor was referring to the alleged criticism against him from the Left government’s ministers over nominations made by him to the senate of certain universities in the state.

“How are they concerned about whom I nominate to the senate? The chief minister and the ministers have absolutely no shame. The state finance minister came and requested me to nominate a person,” Mr Khan said

“How did these people (chief minister and ministers) know that the people I nominated were different from the list recommended by the vice chancellor (VC)? They recommended the list of nominees to the VC to recommend the same to me,” the governor alleged while speaking to reporters in the national capital.

Mr Khan said he had ordered an inquiry and he would take action against the VCs if it is found that they were recommending names proposed by the chief minister and ministers.

“No one can force me to nominate someone. If I have the power, I will exercise my discretion. I am not obligated to tell you (media) how I exercised my discretion,” the governor said.

On being told the Kerala High Court had stayed the nomination of four students to the senate of the University of Kerala, made by him as Chancellor of universities, Mr Khan said he was not aware of the reasons for that.

He also said that the high court did not say anything about the nominations while staying them.

On activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPM, attacking his vehicle while he was on his way to the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on Monday night, Mr Khan questioned how government property could be damaged in the name of protest.

When reporters said that some ministers of the LDF government had criticised his actions post the attack and allegedly called him a ‘goonda’, Mr Khan said that showed their “mindset”.

Ministers P Rajeev, A K Saseendran and P A Mohamed Riyas had come out in support of SFI while hitting out at Mr Khan.

“They (ministers) are entitled to their opinion. Everybody has seen my car has been attacked. I am not attacking anyone. But for them, their political morality. If this is what they are saying, they are talking about their own personality and character. That is their mindset, their mental level,” the governor said.

“Do they (SFI) have the right to damage government property in the name of protest,” he asked.

Mr Khan also said that a case under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC was invoked against those who raised “verbal slogans” inside a plane. “It happened only recently,” he said.

Mr Khan also questioned the purpose behind the state government’s outreach programme, Nava Kerala Sadas, by saying that if the intention was to gather applications or petitions, that could have been collected locally and sent to the state capital.

He said if a solution to the problems of the people was being given on the spot “then it is very good”.

“But there is no solution to any of the problems on the spot. So, is it a yatra for fun? What is the purpose of the yatra? They say they collected over three lakh petitions. Is that the purpose? It defies logic, defies reason,” Mr Khan said.

The governor also said it was unfortunate that the Left government was not able to pay pensions to those who worked over 35 years for the state.

“But, those who worked for two years as ministers’ personal staff are continuing to get their pensions,” he said.

He also reiterated what he said a day ago that the Chief Secretary of the state had submitted an affidavit in the Kerala High Court stating that the government was not in a position to honour the financial guarantees given by it.

“It means the government is unable to fulfil its Constitutional duties. On the other hand, we are seeing festivities on a large scale. Extravaganza. Just for renovation of a swimming pool, Rs 10 lakh is being spent. So, I do not know how to react to this situation,” Mr Khan said.

The Governor and the ruling LDF in the state have been at loggerheads since the Supreme Court verdict quashing the reappointment of Gopinath Ravindran as VC of Kannur University and berating the Left government for its “unwarranted intervention” in the matter.

The top court had found fault with Mr Khan’s order reappointing Mr Ravindran to the post, saying the governor had earlier “abdicated or surrendered” the statutory powers for reappointing the VC.

It had also said it is the chancellor who is conferred with competence under law to appoint or reappoint VCs. “No other person, even the pro-chancellor or any superior authority can interfere with the functioning of the statutory authority,” it had held.

Following the verdict, Mr Khan had accused the chief minister of having exerted pressure on him in the matter.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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