Policy address in Assembly on Wednesday: Governor refuses to read govt’s opinion on CAA
Thiruvananthapuram: Triggering another political drama, Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan declared that he will not read out the government’s protest against Citizenship Amendment Act while delivering the policy address in the Assembly on Wednesday.
No other matters, except government’s policy and programmes, will be included in the policy adress. Pointing out this fact, governor informed the Chief Minister that he has no legal responsibility to declare government’s protest against CAA. He has forwarded a letter to the Chief Minister declaring his stand on the matter.
Governor declared his protest against the government by referring to the 18th paragraph in the policy speech which detail the actions taken by government and Assembly against Citizenship Amendment Act. Earlier, governor had asked the Chief Minister to remove this part from the policy speech observing that it is just an opinion of the government.
Chief Minister’s argument
However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan argued that as per Article 176 (1), the governor is bound to read out government’s policies and programmes to the Assembly members at the first Assembly session every year. He noted that Supreme Court also declared it while hearing a case between Union of India and Valluri Basavaiah Chaudhary. At the Assembly session on Wednesday, governor has to read out the policy of the government which is a document.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that the CAA will affect the public security in the state and not mentioning it in the Assembly will lead to contempt of court.
He declared that governor must function as per the advice of the cabinet and he is responsible to agree with the policy speech approved by the cabinet.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan alleged that Chief Minister is associating government’s policy and programmes with their opinion. He pointed out that neither the Constitution nor the Supreme Court instruct governor to present policy on matters which does not come under the state list.