In a rare break away from convention, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan called a press conference at Raj Bhavan to raise a litany of charges against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government.
Mr. Khan accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of reneging on his written assurance to preserve the discretionary power of the Chancellor in appointing university Vice Chancellors.
He slammed Mr. Vijayan for inducting K.K. Ragesh, ex-MP, into the Chief Minister staff as a “reward for preventing the police” from arresting activists who heckled him at the Indian History Congress venue in Kannur university in 2019.
The governor said he repented acquiescing to Mr. Vijayan’s “entreaties” to extend Kannur Vice Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran’s tenure beyond the retirement age.
“I promised the Chief Minister I would honour his plea, but the selection process should be as per the norm. The government reciprocated the goodwill by scuttling the process and selecting Prof. Ravindran on a personal whim,” Mr. Khan said.
During the protracted media interaction that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, Mr. Khan gave ample hints that he would not sign the University Laws (Amendment) Act, 2022 and the Kerala Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Act, 2022.
He said the varsity legislation infringed on the autonomy of learning centres and rendered them beholden to the caprices of the political executive.
Mr. Khan slammed the “foreign ideology of violence” that informed the ruling party and its use of intimidation to bent the Governor to the administration’s will.
He said that the administration’s coercive approach to matters of State had constrained him to reach out to the public via the media.
The second law gave overriding appellate authority to politicians to circumvent the anti-corruption ombudsman's adverse findings against public servants.
On his meeting with the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Mr. Khan defended his "association with the RSS since 1986".