Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan casts Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the centre of a government-sponsored plot to endanger him

The Governor denied that his sit-in demonstration on the roadside was a protest against a party or the government.

January 27, 2024 01:28 pm | Updated 03:31 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammad Khan. File pohto

Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammad Khan. File pohto | Photo Credit: PTI

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday, January 27, 2024, cast Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the centre of an alleged government-sponsored plot to harm him physically to precipitate a Constitutional crisis.

Ending his sit-in demonstration against a Students Federation of India (SFI) black flag protest at Nilamel in Kollam district, Mr. Khan told reporters that the administration hoped to provoke him to resort to “drastic action” to hide their failure as a government.

He said the government wanted to escape responsibility for the State’s “self-inflicted financial crisis”. Mr. Khan said the government had admitted in the Kerala High Court that the treasury was bone dry and the administration hard-pressed to honour its financial commitments, including to pensioners and lakhs of beneficiaries of monthly social welfare doleouts.

“The government wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis by engaging goons to target the governor by reining in the law enforcement. But, I am not going to oblige them (the government)“, Mr. Khan said.

Also Read | After SFI black-flag protest, Kerala Governor accuses CM Pinarayi Vijayan of trying to physically harm him

The Governor denied that his sit-in demonstration on the roadside was a protest against a party or government.

“Why should I protest when I can take direct action? I merely waited for the police to bring me a copy of the First Information Report to send the document to the secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs”, Mr. Khan said.

Mr. Khan said he had no issue with black flag protests. “However, I was constrained to step out of the vehicle when they (SFI) activists) ambushed my car. As head of State, I cannot tolerate lawlessness on the roads”, he said.

Mr. Khan also levelled severe accusations against the police and SFI. He said they had acted in tandem to endanger the governor.

Mr Khan claimed the police had brought the SFI activists to the spot in their vehicles and whisked them after making a token arrest.

“The police are operating at the orders of the Chief Minister. The protestors draw a daily wage for committing crimes abetted by the ruling disposition”, Mr. Khan alleged.

Without naming the SFI, Mr. Khan said felons populated the left student organisation. For one, he claimed the organisation’s leader has 40 criminal cases against him.

SFI State President Arsho said that Mr. Khan’s “theatrics” would not dampen the organisation’s “moral, ethical and democratic” struggle against the “wrongdoings” of the Chancellor of State varsities.

He said SFI remained committed to the democratic and peaceful struggle to preserve the autonomous and secular traditions and nature of state-funded centres of higher learning.

General Education Minister V. Sivankutty said Mr. Khan’s “antics” did not affect the people or the government.

“We have long brooked his (Mr Khan’s) disparaging comments against the Chief Minister and cabinet colleagues. The governor has repeatedly conducted himself in an undemocratic, autocratic, spiteful and vindictive manner, which does not befit his high office and is an affront to the people of Kerala. He should remember voters elected LDF to power for two consecutive terms”, Mr. Sivankutty said.

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