Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Photo: PTI
Thiruvananthapuram:The Congress on Thursday launched a scathing attack on Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, calling him a "disgrace to the Constitutional position he holds" and expressed doubts whether the ongoing fight between the Left government and the Raj Bhavan in the southern state is a "shadow boxing bout like previous ones."
The Congress' national leadership hit out at the Governor after a row over his letter to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking action against Finance Minister K N Balagopal.
"The Kerala Governor is an all-party man. He has been in many political parties in his career. He is frankly a disgrace to the Constitutional position he holds much like his counterpart in Maharashtra and other states", AICC general secretary (media and communication) Jairam Ramesh told PTI.
The party national leadership's statement referring to Khan's associations with various other political parties before coming closer to the BJP came a day after a row erupted in Kerala over Khan's letter to the Chief Minister seeking "constitutionally appropriate" action against Finance Minister Balagopal for making a speech "undermining India's unity," and the latter turning down the demand firmly.
"But this could well be a shadow boxing bout like previous ones," Ramesh said in a communication to PTI.
With regard to the fight between the CPI(M)-led LDF government and the Governor over various issues, the state Congress leadership had often stated that the duel between them was a fake encounter to fool the people.
The ongoing fight between the Governor and the Left government escalated further after Khan informed Vijayan that "a minister who deliberately violates the oath and undermines the unity and integrity of India cannot continue to enjoy my pleasure."
"In these circumstances, I am left with no option but to convey that Finance Minister Balagopal has ceased to enjoy my pleasure", the Governor had said in an unprecedented action.
In his letter, the Governor expressed hope the Chief Minister will "consider the matter with seriousness it deserves and take action which is constitutionally appropriate".
The Chief Minister rejected the demand assertively, reiterating his trust on Balagopal, saying it remains "undiminished".
The CPI(M) and the Congress had joined hands to criticise Khan for seeking "constitutionally appropriate" action against Balagopal over his recent speech, even as the latter expressed doubt whether the tussle between the Governor and the government was "fake".
Khan's recent move to seek the resignation of Vice-Chancellors of nine universities had kicked up a huge political storm in the southern state. Chief Minister Vijayan has issued a stern message to the Governor asking him not to cross the limits of his powers. PTI