Kerala CM Vijayan, ministers boycott ‘at home’ reception amid rift with governor | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kerala CM Vijayan, ministers boycott ‘at home’ reception amid rift with governor

Jan 27, 2024 09:44 AM IST

The only official who attended the event on behalf of the government was the Principal Secretary of the General Administration Department, KR Jyothilal.

Amid a rift with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his council of ministers boycotted the 'At Home' reception hosted by the former on the occasion of 75th Republic Day on Friday. Vijayan, cabinet ministers and MLAs were invited to the event held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, but none of them showed up, sources told news agency PTI.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (PTI Photo)
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (PTI Photo)

The only official who attended the event on behalf of the government was the principal secretary of the general administration department, KR Jyothilal. Chief secretary and state director general of police (DGP) also stayed away from the programme, PTI reported.

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Earlier on Friday, Vijayan and Khan attended the Republic Day celebrations at Central Stadium, but the duo did not greet each other.

Addressing the Republic Day programme, the governor said higher education institutions should be free from outside interference. "We should not allow group rivalries or internal struggles for power to affect the governance," Khan said.

He added that cooperative federalism requires support from all stakeholders, including the states of the union.

The development comes after Khan took his ongoing feud with the state government on Thursday by cutting short his budget session speech in the Kerala assembly. He read out only the last paragraph of his speech, prepared by the government, and completed the address in just a couple of minutes.

Upon arrival, Khan was welcomed by the chief minister but he did not shake hands or exchange pleasantries. Later, he addressed the assembly and said, “Honourable speaker, chief minister, ministers, leader of opposition and members, it is my honour and privilege to address this august body of representatives of the people of Kerala, marking the beginning of the 10th session of the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly.”

Then Khan flipped to the last page of the 61-page policy address and read out the last paragraph. “Let us remember that our greatest legacy lies not in buildings or monuments, but in the respect and regard we show to the priceless legacy of the Constitution of India and the timeless values of democracy, secularism, federalism and social justice. The essence of cooperative federalism is what has kept our country united and strong all these years. It is our bounden duty to ensure that this essence is not diluted. Together as part of this varied and beautiful nation, we will weave the tapestry of inclusive growth and responsible resilience, overcoming all the challenges that are thrown our way," he said and walked out of the assembly.

The governor and the Left government have been at loggerheads over several issues, including the functioning of the higher educational institutes in the state and his non-signing of certain bills passed by the assembly. It also resulted in his facing widespread protests across the state from the CPI(M), its youth wing -- Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) -- and its student outfit -- Students Federation of India (SFI).

(With inputs from agencies)

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