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Governor’s criticism politically motivated one, says Kerala CM

Thiruvananthapuram, September 21 (BPNS)

It seems the war of words between Governor Arif Mohamamd Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is showing no signs of winding down.

On Wednesday, the CM convened a press meeting to respond to the Governor’s allegations that he raised during an unprecedented and extraordinary media briefing at his official residence, Raj Bhavan on Monday.

“Our Constitution has made it clear that the Governor is the head of the state. But the Governor’s work is bound by the aid and advice of his council of ministers,” said Vijayan.

He then added, Does the Governor think that it’s righteous to do the work of the Opposition by criticizing the government publicly? If he had any differences he could have reached out to the government through established channels. But here, he chooses the opposite.

The CM mocked that the Governor’s media briefing had helped to understand the admiration and love he had for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

“It is expected that a Governor will have to keep distance from political parties and organizations. Here, our Governor took pride in saying that he had the support of the RSS. Thus, he had made his office a center of political conspiracy,” said the CM.

The CM also referred to the Governor’s allegations against the organizers of the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, especially against historian Irfan Habib and Kannur University vice chancellor Gopinath Raveendran.

“The protest that the Governor faced at the session was a natural response from the academia. The Governor is expected to protect the Constitutional values. But the speech the Governor delivered there was against the same. Thus, they reacted. In the case of Irfan and Gopinath, they are on the RSS’ hate list and the Governor targeted them,” said Vijayan.

In the case of bills that await the Governor’s approval, the CM alleged that the Governor is prejudiced.

The Governor on the other day had signed into law five Bills passed by the Assembly. However, he withheld assent to the remaining six Bills, putting him at odds with the government.

The laws awaiting assent included the University Laws (Amendment) Act, 2022, and Kerala Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Act, 2022.

“He says that he is yet to read some bills. But he says that he will not give assent. The propriety of the Governor should have to be questioned here,” said the CM.