Oligarchy prevailing in Kerala under CPI (M) rule: Governor
Arif Mohammad Khan told reporters that he was ready to face challenges posed by the ruling dispensation.
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday alleged he was “threatened of dire consequences” for not toeing the “corrupt deals” of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government, claiming a system of “oligarchy” was prevailing in the southern state.
Amid escalating tussle between the Raj Bhavan and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government over various issues, including vice-chancellor appointments, Khan told reporters that he was ready to face challenges posed by the ruling dispensation.
Addressing a press conference, Khan categorically refused to speak to the media till reporters from CPI(M)-controlled “Kairali News” and Kozhikode-based “MediaOne” were removed. “I hope there is no Kairali or MediaOne here. I don’t want to talk to you. Get out. I won’t talk to you,” Khan said. “You are carrying out a campaign against me. I will not talk to Kairali and MediaOne. If there is anyone, please get out from here.”
Though journalists protested, Khan stood his ground and began the interaction only after crew of the two channels left. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists condemned the action and decided to take out a protest march to Raj Bhavan on Tuesday against this act of governor. Senior Congress leader and leader of Opposition in assembly VD Satheesan and CPI(M) state secretary MV Govindan also decried the governor’s move.
During his brief media interaction, Khan targeted chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan while also claiming that he was “threatened of dire consequences” by the activists of the Left organisations. The ruling LDF has announced a protest rally outside the Raj Bhavan on November 15.
“Barge into Raj Bhavan if you have the guts, attack me on the road. You cannot intimidate me like this,” Khan said in a reference to Vijayan’s threat that he will have to face a massive uprising in the face of his refusal to sign certain bills and show-cause notices to 11 vice-chancellors.
“The chief minister is going to the extent of saying he doesn’t know who I am. I know him as the chief minister and I also know certain additional things about him,” Khan said.
“I know how in Kannur he (Vijayan) tried to free a man who was arrested by police in a murder case, and he tried to do it forcibly and when a young IPS officer took out the revolver, then what happened to him he only knows, he had to go back home to change his clothes,” he added.
The governor further alleged that a system of “oligarchy” was prevailing in the state which was evident from recent developments where people close to the ruling party cadres were getting government jobs and other postings.
“People have started asking whether all jobs under the government are reserved for party cadres and university jobs for sympathisers of the ideology (Communist),” he alleged.
He also referred a recent letter purportedly written by Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran in which she asked the CPI(M) district secretary for a “priority list” of party cadres and their relatives to be appointed in temporary posts in the civic body. Khan alleged that the party cadres and relatives of the left leaders were getting jobs while the qualified youths were forced to leave the state in search of employment.
“I was told that the letter which is being discussed in the press is not the first of its kind. It seems a system of oligarchy is prevailing here,” he alleged. “Young men and women from the state are going to other states for jobs. But relatives of CPI(M) leaders are getting appointed in universities and other government bodies, right from temporary to permanent jobs.”
Reacting to Khan’s outbursts, CPI(M) state secretary MV Govindan said he was provoking the government without any reason. “Let him talk every day like this. We are not worried because people are with us,” he said.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed Khan, saying people have realised that the governor was stating facts. “The governor is being threatened for exposing corrupt deals in universities,” said BJP state president K Surendran. “Many government offices have reduced to party offices now.”
To counter the CPI(M) protest against the governor, the saffron party has announced two-day explanation meetings throughout the state on November 18 and 19.