Kerala Governor trying to supersede powers of legislature: CM Pinarayi Vijayan


Pinarayi Vijayan | Screengrab

Thiruvananthapuram: Withholding bills passed by the legislature, taking unilateral actions against vice-chancellors of state universities and seeking removal of the finance minister KN Balagopal were attempts of Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to implement the RSS-Sangh Parivar agenda in Kerala, alleged chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister also accused the Governor of acting as if he was above the judiciary and trying to supersede the powers of the legislature.

Speaking at a convention organised by an Education Protection Committee here, Vijayan claimed that the recent move of Khan to remove 15 senate members of Kerala University as well as seeking immediate resignation of the Vice Chancellors of several varsities in the state was beyond the powers he has as Chancellor.

The Chief Minister said the Chancellor's position was created by the legislature under the Universities Laws, which also lays down the powers of that post.

However, the recent moves of the Chancellor indicated the "uneasiness" of certain centres or groups like the RSS and Sangh Parivar who are unhappy with the improvements by the southern state in the field of higher education, Vijayan said.

"It is all part of the agenda of the RSS and Sangh Parivar for saffronisation of the universities in the state," he further said.

He also lashed out at the Governor for not signing various bills passed by the state legislature and holding on to them indefinitely, saying such actions were unconstitutional.

Vijayan said that even the courts have held that the Governor cannot hold on to bills for an indefinite period of time, but here Khan was behaving as if he was above the judiciary and was also trying to supersede the powers of the legislature.

Khan's recent move seeking removal of state Finance Minister K N Balagopal from the cabinet was also criticised by Vijayan who said that the Governor should devote some time to think about the powers he has under the Constitution.

Vijayan said that the Governor appoints or removes ministers from the cabinet on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and not on his own and Khan should keep that in mind.

The Chief Minister said that the Governor's recent moves were part of attempts by some forces to create a constitutional crisis in the state.

Senior Left leaders, including LDF convener E P Jayarajan, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan, also criticised the Governor along similar lines.

They alleged that Khan's actions against the universities were part of an agenda to turn varsities into RSS centres.

PTI

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