Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday unleashed a full-blown attack on the Left government by alleging that “they have initiated the process of collapse of constitutional machinery” by threatening him of dire consequences and not permitting the vice chancellors appointed by him from performing their duties.
“I would urge them to go ahead, create more problems, barge into the Raj Bhavan, if you have the guts. Attack me on the road,” he said when asked about the protests by the Left organisations against Ciza Thomas, who was given charge of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University by him in his capacity as the Chancellor of the State Universities.
On the protest rally being planned in front of the Raj Bhavan on November 15, Mr. Khan said that he is ready to face it. “I am ready to come to their dharna. Don’t hold it on Nov 15. Hold it on a day when I am in Raj Bhavan. I will come there. Let us have a public debate. The Chief Minister has gone to the extent of saying that I do not know who he is. I know him as Chief Minister. I know certain additional things about him, but definitely I do not know everything about him. I know how in Kannur he tried to free a man who was arrested by police in a murder case forcibly. And when a young IPS officer took out the revolver, what happened to Pinarayi Vijayan? He had to go home to change his clothes. I know that,” he said.
Asked about the government’s move to remove him as Chancellor, the Governor asked the Left front to recall his willingness to relinquish the position of Chancellor. “Why did they write four letters, pleading with me [not to give up the post]? Chief Minister wrote a letter to me assuring that there will be no interference [on the administration of universities] not only by the government, but from any other source. Only then they were able to persuade me to resume my duty as Chancellor. Ask them whether that letter was correct or what they are saying today is correct,” he said.
On reports that the government has okayed a fee of about 45 lakh for advice from a constitutional expert as part of the legal measures initiated against him, Mr. Khan said that “it means that the legal system of Kerala government is totally incompetent. You have law department, you have advocate general. It was the Advocate General, who misled me to believe in the case of Kannur [appointment of vice chancellor] that what he suggested is legal. And now the Supreme Court has said it is illegal. Therefore, I will come to that after the Vice Chancellor issue [the notice sent by him to vice chancellors asking them to explain why their appointments should not be declared as illegal] is settled finally,” he said.
On the controversy over the letter allegedly written by Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran seeking a priority list of CPI(M) cadre for jobs, Mr. Khan said that the people of Kerala are now asking whether all the jobs under the Kerala government are reserved for CPI(M) cadre.
“I have been told that the letter which is being discussed in the press is not the first of its kind. Many other such letters exist with people. They [CPI(M)] have become like oligarchy of Kerala. The Kerala young men and women go to different states and foreign countries looking for jobs. But the relatives of CPI(M) leaderships are accommodated in the universities, right from temporary to permanent jobs,” he alleged.