CPI(M) questions Kerala governor’s meeting with RSS chief

Published on Sep 19, 2022 12:01 AM IST

Meanwhile, the Governor on Sunday reiterated his charge that a case was not registered over the History Congress incident after the intervention of the CM’s office. He alleged that it was a move aimed at attacking him physically and the state was bound to take action, but ignored it conveniently

The Governor’s office confirmed that Arif Mohammad Khan’s meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat “was only a courtesy call.” (PTI)
The Governor’s office confirmed that Arif Mohammad Khan’s meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat “was only a courtesy call.” (PTI)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Amid a war of words between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the state government, the ruling CPI(M) on Sunday questioned the former’s meeting with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat in Thrissur on Saturday night.

“Now we can understand reasons behind his recent outbursts. The Governor has denigrated his position by calling on Bhagwat at the house of a local RSS leader in Thirssur flouting all protocols,” CPI(M) Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan said, adding that of late he was behaving like a leader of the Sangh Parivar overlooking his duties and responsibilities.

The Governor’s office later confirmed that he had a meeting with the RSS leader and “it was only a courtesy call.” Bhagwat was staying at the house of a local RSS leader in Thrissur after his visit to Guruvayur temple.

Jayarajan also said protest against the Governor during the History Congress session in Kannur in 2019 was spontaneous and it was unfair to call it “an attempt on his life.” “It was a minor incident. He is ballooning it day in and out to get some sympathy. He cannot take out his frustration on the government citing a three- year-old incident,” he said in Kannur (north Kerala).

CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran also criticised recent observations of the Governor. “He has to keep dignity of the position he is holding,” he said.

During the 80th History Congress inaugural session on December 29, 2019 the Governor was allegedly heckled by a group of participants, including eminent historian Irafan Habib, raising the Citizenship Amendment Act. Khan was forced to stop his inaugural speech midway and later he stormed out of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Governor on Sunday reiterated his charge that a case was not registered over the History Congress incident after the intervention of the CM’s office. He alleged that it was a move aimed at attacking him physically and the state was bound to take action, but ignored it conveniently.

Talking to newsmen in Kochi, he said he will release the letter written by the CM promising him that there would not be political appointments in varsities. “You can clearly see the assurance given by the government and how it was flouted later,” he said.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had lashed out at the Governor on Friday, saying some of his recent statements were “absurd” and asked him not denigrate his position by making “baseless remarks.” He said the tone of his observations was not in line with the office he represented and asked him not to browbeat an elected government.

In last December, the Governor had sent a letter to the CM in which he said he was really pained over “dipping standard” of higher education sector in the state and blamed “brazen political interference” for this. He asked the government to take up the chancellor’s post if political interference continued like this but the CM met him later with a request to continue in the post and promised him that there would not be any interference in appointments.

But the appointment of Priya Varghese, the CM’s private secretary’s wife, in Kannur university allegedly bypassing eligible candidates irked him. There was a controversy over allegations that she was handpicked flouting norms of the University Grants Commission overlooking some of the deserving candidates. On August 17 the Governor had stayed her appointment.

Meanwhile the Governor has called a press conference at Raj Bhawan on Monday. He had said earlier that he will release full video of the history Congress incident and some letters written by the CM promising him that he will ensure autonomy in universities. He also said he will bring it to the notice of the union government about the 2019 incident and “indifferent attitude” of the government.

The ruling CPI (M) has also stepped its attack on Khan. “He has crossed all limits. He raises allegations one after the other attacking the government in power without any provocation,” said party state secretary M V Govindan. But the BJP said it will not allow Communists to single out the Governor and attack him. “The CM and party leaders are handing out threat to the Governor who raised some pertinent questions. He only questioned nepotism and backdoor entries in varsities,” said party state president K Surendran.

But the Congress distanced from the controversy saying both will arrive at a consensus despite outbursts. “Earlier also the Governor raised several issues but both, he and the CM, came around soon. We feel it is another round of drama,” said opposition leader V D Satheesan.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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