Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan | Photo: PTI
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday said if there is no "clear cut" and "unqualified" assurance from the state government that it will not interfere in the affairs of universities, he will not continue as the Chancellor.
Khan said either there should be a clear cut assurance or the state government should bring a law to take over the responsibilities of the Chancellor, but he will not continue in that position "at the cost of compromising the dignity of national institutions.
"At the cost of compromising the dignity of the national institutions, I cannot continue as the Chancellor. Either there should be a clear cut and unqualified assurance that there will be no interference (by the government) in the affairs of the universities or they (government) can take over as Chancellor," the Governor told reporters here.
He further said that he was concerned with much more "serious and profound" matters "which impinge on the dignity of our national institutions" and "things like who is the Vice-Chancellor, who is not, what he is doing, how he is constituting board of academics, are all very very minute issues".
On the row between him and the Congress-led UDF opposition, which has sought his resignation as Governor, Khan said, "I do not care what they are saying."
Both the Governor and the UDF have been exchanging salvos the last few days over the issues of alleged recommendation by him to confer D.Litt on the Indian President and his claim that he has ceased to be the Chancellor of the universities in the state.
While Khan has been terming the Congress-led UDF's comments and queries over the alleged recommendation as "irresponsible", "ignorant" and not deserving a reply, the latter shot back that the Governor was not exempt from criticism under the Constitution and if he violates any Constitutional or statutory provisions then he will be criticised.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly V D Satheesan alleged that the Governor has become the mouthpiece of the BJP ever since the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed.
Besides the Congress-led UDF opposition, the Governor is also at loggerheads with the state government over alleged political interference in the functioning of the universities.
Khan had earlier also said that he ceased to function as chancellor from December 8, 2021.
Attacking Khan, the opposition Congress had said that his stand to not continue as the chancellor was "illegal" and he was not supposed to "talk like a child."