Governors don't like to be an obstacle, just ensuring govts work as per law: Kerala guv Arif Khan

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Arif Mohammad Khan | Photo: PTI

Chandigarh: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday said a governor would never like to become an obstacle for any state government and that they are there to ensure whatever a government does is in accordance with the law.

His remarks came amid a row between Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. Differences between the state governments and governors have also surfaced in some other places.

Khan said a governor is accountable to the President of India while a state government is accountable to its people.

He was here to attend India Minority Conclave 2023, organised by NID Foundation.

Replying to a question on the tussle between the governor and the chief minister in Punjab, Khan said, "We must understand, from the constitutional provisions, what is the role of the governor. The role of the governor is to ensure that the business of the government is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws, rules and regulations."

A row had erupted between Governor Purohit and Chief Minister Mann after the former asked the latter about the process of selecting 36 government school principals for a training seminar held recently in Singapore.

Mann had said he was not answerable to a Centre-appointed governor and went on to question the criteria for appointing governors.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab also accused Purohit of interfering in the state government's affairs.

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, Khan said the apex court had laid down that the oath which a governor takes is not a mere formality.

"The will of the people as reflected in the majority party is effective only to the extent where they do whatever business they accordance with the Constitution and the law,” he said.

"If any governor notices something...because sometimes elected governments in order to cater to populist feelings, they tend to do certain things which are not exactly not in accordance with the law," said Khan.

He said not just the law, the spirit of the law must be respected as well.

"If a governor seeks clarification, I do not think any governor would like to create any obstacle. He (governor) would like to encourage the government in whatever good they are doing for the people of their state.... He would like to counsel them.

"He would never like to become an obstacle in that process. But sometimes people become impatient and they try to find what is the intention behind it, attribute motives. That is not a fair thing in democracy,” said Khan.

He said both sides should appreciate each other's position.

"The governor is responsible to the president of India, the government of any state is responsible to the people. So the governor is not there to run the administration. Governor is there only to ensure whatever the government does, they uphold the Constitution and the law,” said Khan.


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