Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan looks determined for an all out attack against Kerala CM and CPM supremo Pinarayi Vijayan.
He said today, September 19, that Home Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stopped police from taking actions against those who attempted to eliminate him during the Indian History Congress held in Kannur in December 2019. He was addressing a press conference at Raj Bhavan Thiruvananthapuram. The media persons were showed the visuals of the History Congress incidents. It showed Irfan Habib was seen moving towards the Governor. K.K. Ragesh, then MP (RS) and currently PA to the chief minister, was seen leaving the dais and stopping the police from taking actions against/arresting the protestors. Governor said, he got the visuals from Government of Kerala and Public Relations Department (PRD). Governor said, it was clear cut conspiracy to eliminate him. Otherwise why did Irfan Habib move towards him while he (Governor) was speaking on the occasion? How can Ragesh leave the dais and go to the crowd to control the police? As per protocol no one is expected to leave the dais until Governor leaves? These are offences which invite Section 214 of IPC. Whatever happened are cognizable offences which can lead to even seven years’ punishment. But, so far no case has been registered. Governor asked who, other than the home minister of the state, is responsible for this failure. Replying a question Governor said, there is no time limit for registering criminal cases. Here even people in black dress are arrested! He was referring to the recent incidents in Kerala where people using even black masks were whisked away from the places where CM Vijayan went. Even media persons were not spared.
Answering the media, Governor said, he was sure, it was a carefully orchestrated plan to eliminate him; otherwise how could the protestors carry big placards. That itself proves that it was premeditated. He requested the media to investigate the reason for bringing placards when they came to attend a History Congress.
While he (governor) was speaking Irfan Habib was heard telling him to quote Godse instead of Mahatmaji. He said that he did not protest when Habib took more time than he was permitted. He asked why did he (Habib) try to reach him and stop him from his talk. Recently Irfan Habib campaigned in Aligar varsity against the Prime Minister’s programme.
Arif Mohammed Khan stated that the History Congress programme was scheduled for 60 minutes and Irfan Habib was entitled for two minutes. But, he took 35 minutes hence Governor was forced to sit on the dais for 95 minutes. Even though Habib had talked in length and breadth against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, Governor did not get time to clarify the Bharat Government’s stand, thanks to the interventions by Habib himself and a section of the audience, possibly from JNU, Aligar Varsity or Jamia University, not from Kerala. Their aim was to silence him on CAA, etc. On the other hand, Kerala students were raising the slogan “Bharat Mata Ki Jey”.
Replying a question regarding his meeting with RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr. Mohan Bhagavath on September 17 in Thrissur, he wondered what is wrong with it. He is in touch with RSS since 1986, the days of Sha Bano case and nation-wide discussion on Shariat Law. Those days CPM leader EMS Namboodirippad, himself (governor) and RSS shared the same view. Later on CPM went back on their stand. But, RSS is still consistent in their stand. He asked if RSS a banned organisation. Now, Dr. Bhagavath came to Kerala where he (Governor) is the head of the state. If another chance comes, he will, no doubt, meet RSS Sarsanghchalak again. He added that he had been invited to address valedictory functions of RSS annual training camps (Sangh Shiksha Varg or OTC) five or six times. They usually invite people to these programmes who do not belong to their organisation.
He ridiculed LDF Convener E. P. Jayarajan’s statement that RSS man should not continue as a Governor. He told that country’s PM, President, most of the cabinet ministers and several governors belong to RSS. He reminded the media persons that Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru invited RSS to participate in the Republic Parade of 1963. Pulling the legs of CPM, governor said that while there are people who believe in ideologies of foreign origin, he has every right to believe in RSS ideology which took birth in this country. When Atalji was the PM, he had proudly said that he was first of all a Swayamsevak.
Governor referred to clashes in Kannur also. He said, RSS has never come to power in Kerala. Then who is responsible to ensure peace ? CPM believes in violence, intimidation and use of force to eliminate their opponents. They run in Kerala an economy based on liquor and lottery.
Governor said, twelve bills sent by the state government, are pending with him for signature. He referred to two bills which he does not intend to sign. Because, they do not conform to the Constitution of our country. They are amendments to Kerala Lok Ayukta Bill and University Bill. He said, he would not allow government to interfere in university matters as long as he is the Governor. Governor is expected to wield the constitutional powers based on total conviction. He is conscious of his duties to protect Constitution, Jurisprudence and Universities.
He said, what he sees is threat through media that Governor’s powers are going to be curtailed. E.P. Jayarajan talks a lot about him. He might have got it from party classes.
Referring to the behaviour of the people in ruling CPM and Left Democratic Front (LDF) he said that LDF Convenor E.P. Jayarajan has been banned from flying an airline; reason is unruly behaviour on board. One minister has been removed for denigrating the country’s Constitution. (Yesterday, September 18, 2022, Governor had referred to former LDF minister K.T. Jaleel who spoke in Pak language by mentioning PoK as ‘Azad Kashmir’ in his FB post).
Arif Mohammed Khan said that pressure tactics would not work on him. Government cannot control Raj Bhavan. He had told the CM much earlier that they could take over Chancellorship of Universities from him. CM could act even as the Chancellor. He had said, they could even promulgate an ordinance in this regard, if the House is not in session. He was ready to sign it. He produced CM’s correspondence with him. He said, the CM had visited him at Raj Bhavan and requested to give a second term to Kannur VC Gopinath Raveendran. He mentioned that Kannur was his home district. Governor told him that it would have to go through the legal procedure. Education minister also requested for the same. Then the government submitted the legal green signal from Advocate General (AG). In fact, he had not requested for AG’s advice. Government wanted to scuttle the process. If AG had opposed appointment he would have refused to do it. They used AG’s office to get the thing done.
Chief Minister had forwarded three letters to the Governor. First one was on December 8, 2021. The letter of December 1, requested him to continue as Chancellor. Later on a senior government official came to see him. They wanted him to change the law. Decision would be taken by the majority. He quoted noted academician Prof. C.N.R. Rao who had said that Kerala students are going outside Kerala for higher studies. Prof. Panicker also has said the same.
Governor said that eternal vigilance is required for media freedom. If government thinks that they can frighten Governor and get the things done as they wish, it would not work. He said, “I have seen enough. I am here after facing worse situation than this”. He said, he would not compromise on basic principles. He said, he is happy, at last CM has come to open. Until now, proxies were shouting at him. He said, no one is elected to favour any one.
A one juncture he asked the media whether he should sign the University Bill and Lok Ayukt Bill. He is not for legalising the illegalities. He is ready to sign the bill if it is for abolishing the Chancellorship. He referred to Sree Narayana Guru University established by ordinance before the assembly elections. But, the appointment of faculties was postponed for one and half years. In Kerala University also the situation is the same. Despite repeated requests lot of appointments are pending. Courses and students do suffer.
Personal staff of the ministers get life long pension after completing couple of year service. Party people are benefitted. There are ministers coming to Raj Bhavan with the politically appointed PAs. Ministers depend on them to answer my questions. Departments are run by these secretaries.
Answering a question regarding the Chief Secretary’s meeting with him at Raj Bhavan this morning, he said that V.P. Joy IAS came to see him to invite him to his daughter’s wedding.