Arif Mohammad Khan | Photo: PTI
Thiruvananthapuram: Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday staged a protest march to the general post office in Thiruvananthapuram against the Governor of the state Arif Mohammad Khan over his orders demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state.
This comes as Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan while pointing out the issue of the VC appointment to various universities in Kerala said the Supreme Court itself had earlier made it clear that the appointment of the vice-chancellors was the responsibility of the Governor.
Khan had sought the resignation of VCs of the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University.
Notably, the Kerala High Court on Monday held that all nine Vice Chancellors of various universities can continue in their positions until the Chancellor issues a final order following show-cause notices to them earlier today.
The court also made it clear that the petitioners will be eligible to continue in their positions however in full compliance with law and regulations till such time the Chancellor issues a final order.
The CPI-M state secretary M V Govindan inaugurated the protest on Tuesday and alleged that the Kerala Governor was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sympathizer.
"The Governor was appointed as Chancellor as per the law and if the law is invalid, there would be neither chancellor nor governor. It is embarrassing that Governor thinks that he has the power of a king and whatever he is doing is right," Govindan said.
Govindan further said that the governor was trying to appoint the RSS people as the Vice Chancellors of the universities in the state.
"He is working for the RSS. It is an attempt to destroy the higher education sector of Kerala. There is a paper organisation called 'Save the University Forum'. The link of that forum is the opposition leader. By supporting the governor's stand, the opposition leader is backing communalism," Govindan added.
Notably, the ruling party of Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) will organise a massive against the governor with lakhs of people on November 15 in front of Rajbhavan. The protest will be conducted across the state on the same day.
Earlier on Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lashed out at Khan for seeking the resignation of vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state and said that the Governor was misusing his powers as the Chancellor of varsities.
"Nine vice-chancellors have been asked to resign unilaterally under the cover of the court verdict regarding the appointment of the KTU vice-chancellor. The Governor is misusing the Chancellor post to exercise more powers than he holds. It is undemocratic and encroachment on the powers of the Vice Chancellors. The Governor is acting to further the agenda of the Sangh Parivar. A war is being waged with destructive intelligence against the universities of Kerala, which are progressing to the heights of academic excellence. What is this attack for? What is behind this other than political goals?" said Vijayan at a press conference in Palakkad.
Meanwhile, Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran on Monday said that he will not tender his resignation as sought by Khan.
"I have received the decision of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan but I will not submit my resignation. The resignation of the VC is based either on financial irregularities or bad behaviour and neither of this has happened here. This is a fake accusation," said Kannur University Vice-Chancellor said on Monday.