Kerala

Politician to succeed jurist as Kerala Governor

A. Sampath, special representative of the Kerala government in Delhi, and Resident Commissioner Puneet Kumar with Governor-designate Arif Muhammad Khan in Delhi on Sunday.

A. Sampath, special representative of the Kerala government in Delhi, and Resident Commissioner Puneet Kumar with Governor-designate Arif Muhammad Khan in Delhi on Sunday.  

Incumbent P. Sathasivam had striven to keep his office above daily politics

Arif Mohammad Khan, the Kerala Governor designate, brings to the Raj Bhavan the tactfulness of a seasoned politician.

He succeeds P. Sathasivam, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who had invested the Governor’s office with subtlety and judiciousness seldom seen in Statecraft.

Moment in limelight

Mr. Khan had cut his teeth in student politics before being elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly at the age of 26. He graduated to New Delhi politics and was elected to the Lok Sabha on a Congress ticket from UP in 1980 and 1984. Mr. Khan’s moment in the national limelight came in 1986 when he quit the Rajiv Gandhi government to protest the Centre’s decision to reverse the Supreme Court’s verdict granting alimony to a divorced Muslim woman in the Shah Banu case.

His opposition to the practice of Triple Talaq and reformist positions had earned Mr. Khan bouquets and brickbats.

Mr. Sathasivam, the incumbent, leaves behind a legacy of having striven to keep his office above the cut and thrust of daily politics, with varying degrees of success, in the thick of heated issues such as the Supreme Court verdict favouring entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala.

His high-profile interventions in sensitive issues had gained traction in the public sphere though they were mostly symbolic acts given the Constitutional limitations of the Governor’s office.

Mr. Sathasivam’s “invitation” to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss “the complaints about police action and lifting of prohibitory orders in Sabarimala” in November last was one such occasion.

More recently, the Governor summoned the Kerala University Vice Chancellor and chairman of the Kerala Public Service Commission after a police investigation revealed large-scale examination fraud.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:31:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/politician-to-succeed-jurist-as-governor/article29317202.ece

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