Governor creating ‘constitutional crisis’ in Kerala at behest of BJP, RSS, says CPI(M)

Published on Sep 21, 2022 12:38 AM IST

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Tuesday accused Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of creating a ‘constitutional crisis’ in the state at the behest of the BJP and RSS and not discharging his duties, while the BJP defended him saying he was not being provided proper security.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. (PTI)
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. (PTI)
ByPress Trust of India

Thiruvananthapuram

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Tuesday accused Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of creating a ‘constitutional crisis’ in the state at the behest of the BJP and RSS and not discharging his duties, while the BJP defended him saying he was not being provided proper security.

Irked by Khan’s claim that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited RSS to the Republic Day parade, the Congress joined issue against him, saying it was a “serious ahistorical remark” which he should retract and also express regret for making such a comment.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran tweeted that under the Right to Information Act, the Narendra Modi government has said no such incident ever took place.

Stepping up their attack on the governor, in the wake of his unprecedented press conference a day ago at Raj Bhavan where he levelled several accusations against the Left government and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, senior CPI(M) leaders as well as ministers said Khan was not acting or functioning in accordance with his Constitutional position.

Left party leaders said that Khan has become a “tool” of certain power centres and by his actions, which even the public is not taking seriously, was bringing disrepute to his office.

They also alleged that RSS was using the Governor to create a “constitutional crisis” in the state.

Amidst the severe criticism of the governor, Union minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare Shobha Karandlaje, who is in the southern state, said it was “very bad” that the state government and the CM were fighting everyday with the governor who is against corruption and wants autonomy for the universities.

“He is not even provided proper security. Irfan Habib attacked him, but no FIR lodged till date. On one side the government is sitting with PFI and SDPI and on the other not providing security to the governor.

“If the government cannot protect the governor, how will it protect the people? Even women are not safe here. 16,418 cases of crimes against women lodged in 2021 alone. Of that over 2,000 were rape cases. Very bad,” she said Meanwhile, CPI Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam sent a letter to President Droupadi Murmu requesting her to “take cognizance of the gravity of the situation and to issue urgent necessary instructions to the Governor of Kerala to maintain the sanctity and decorum of his august office and to abstain from the interference with the constitutional functioning of the state government”.

In his letter, Viswam alleged that Khan was “on a collision course with the state government” and his actions were “clearly anti-constitutional”.

CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan, speaking to the media, said, “Governor should function as a Governor and not as a swayamsevak of RSS.” State Minister of Local Self Government, M B Rajesh told reporters that the claims of the Governor have no factual basis and sought to know how Khan can say that he would not sign the bills when he claims he has not even seen them.

“It shows a preconceived mindset or decision. His conduct over the last few days shows whom he is working for and where the remote control is.

“The RSS is creating this constitutional crisis by using the Governor.” The state’s former Finance Minister Thomas Isaac also shared a similar view, saying that the Governor was trying to implement policies of BJP and RSS in Kerala.

Isaac said, “Wherever there is a non-BJP government, they are using the Governor to create problems in those states. Look at Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Jharkhand, it is happening at all those places, not just Kerala.” State Higher Education Minister R Bindu too came to the fore against the Governor’s allegations regarding appointments in the state universities and said that he should not pick and choose some selections out of thousands and claim that there was something wrong.

“Publicly airing such views was not in keeping with the Constitutional office he holds,” she told scribes.

Govindan said that if the bills are not signed then the government will have to take steps as per the law and the Constitution.

State Law Minister P Rajeeve, on being asked by reporters about the Governor’s stand on the bills, said that Khan was bound to act according to the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

He said that a Governor cannot take independent actions or function independently, which was also made clear by Dr B R Ambedkar during the Constituent Assembly debates, and therefore, he should accept that fact and act accordingly.

He also took a dig at Khan by saying that the latter may not accept concepts like democracy and Parliamentary form of government as these originated outside India.

This was a dig at Khan’s allegations that the Left parties were following the Communist ideology, which is a foreign concept, that authorises use of force to silence dissent.

Rajeeve said that the Governor should act with a sense of responsibility and in accordance with the office he holds, instead of reducing such a high position to ridicule.

State Minister for Cooperation and Registration V N Vasavan opined that Khan has become a “tool” for some power centres or groups.

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