‘Barge into Raj Bhavan if you have guts’: Governor Khan challenges LDF govt
As the LDF plans a massive protest march to the Raj Bhavan against Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on November 15, he challenged the CPI-M to enter the Raj Bhavan.
“Attack me on the street, barge into Raj Bhavan if you have the guts,” said Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday at Kochi, giving the indication that he is all for a confrontation with the state government irrespective of the constitutional position he holds.
On the other hand, the Left leaders are carefully choosing their words while responding to the governor. While the chief minister has not said anything, CPI-M party secretary M V Govindan told the media that the Raj Bhavan march is a symbolic protest which will be carried out peacefully. He said that the governor might want the protest to turn violent for political reasons, but the party would resort only to democratic and legal means.
Governor bars two TV channels
The governor also declared that he would talk only to a section of the media. Before starting the press conference, he asked the reporters of Media One and Kairali channels to go out. He repeated the allegation that they are ‘cadres masquerading as journalists’ and said he will not talk to them.
The journalist representing Reporter Television boycotted the press conference in protest against the discrimination shown to the fellow journalists.
Journalists to protest
The Kerala Union of Working Journalist (KUWJ), the biggest organisation of journalists in the state, announced march to Raj Bhavan tomorrow in protest against the governor’s discriminatory attitude towards selected media.
“This is an attack on the freedom of the press and the governor is insulting the constitutional position being held by him. All the journalists, including the reporters of Kairali and Media One, were given clearance from Raj Bhavan in advance. Kicking out two journalists despite having clearance from Raj Bhavan is unacceptable,” M V Vinitha and R Kiran Babu, the state president and secretary of KUWJ said in a joint statement.
KPCC President K Sudhakaran and the opposition leader V D Satheeshan also said that the governor’s arbitrariness in picking the media of his choice is unacceptable. They said that this was against the spirit of democracy and an attack on the freedom of the press.
Govt to go to SC
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has decided to challenge the governor’s actions in the Supreme Court. According to the government, the governor keeping the bills passed by the assembly for uncertain period of time, creating administrative crisis in the state. It says, the governor neither signs the bills nor sends them back leading to an unusual situation which is creating a crisis as far as the government is concerned.
The law department has sanctioned Rs 45 lakh as lawyer’s fee for legal consultation on the matter for Fali S Nariman, the senior lawyer at the Supreme Court.
The CPI-M is trying to gather the support of other state governments facing similar conflicts. DMK MP Thiruchi Silva will participate in the Raj Bhavan March on November 15, which is scheduled to be inaugurated by CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechuri.
V-Cs reply to showcause notice
Meanwhile, as the deadline given to the university vice-chancellors for giving reply to the showcause notice issued by chancellor/governor came to a close today, all of them, except one, submitted the reply.
Dr M S Rajasree, the former V-C of Kerala Technological University, who has already exited from the position following the Supreme Court’s verdict cancelling her appointment who also received the notice, did not file the reply.
“We have informed the chancellor that the showcause notice does not have any backing of law. The chancellor has to follow the procedure established by law for removing a vice-chancellor which Arif Mohammad Khan did not comply with. The constitution of the search committee and the appointment of the V-C was done solely by the chancellor and he is only responsible if there is an error in the procedure,” Advocate K P Sreekrishnan, the lawyer representing Dr M V Narayanan, the V-C of Sanskrit University told The Federal.
The writ petitions submitted by the V-Cs challenging the legality of the showcause notice will be heard by the high court tomorrow. According to the lawyers, this battle is not going to end soon and would probably go to the Supreme Court.