The cracks between the non-BJP parties in Kerala and Governor Arif Mohammed Khan widened on Saturday (January 25) as the Congress said it plans to move a resolution against him in the state assembly over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Khan, however, welcomed the plan and sought to clarify he was functioning as per the Constitution.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the party will move a resolution against Khan, seeking his recall for “violating” all democratic principles and “publicly questioning” the pride of the legislature. “Most welcome,” Khan said when asked about the Opposition move against him.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am the constitutional head of the state. It’s my duty to advice, counsel, encourage and warn the government. It’s part of my duty as per the Constitution and as interpreted by the Supreme Court also,” he told media on the sidelines of a programme here.
Khan said there was no confrontation with the government, but reiterated the state’s move to approach the apex court against CAA without informing him was not right. “There may be some difference of opinion but it cannot be termed as confrontation,” Khan, who has been over loggerheads with the state government for past few weeks, said.
On reports that Khan had expressed discontent over the reported mention of the anti-CAA resolution passed by the assembly, in the policy address to be read by him on the first day Budget session, the governor said he had just informed the government on how to “improve the content of the documents” submitted to him.
“In the constitutional provision with regard to the policy address itself, it is mentioned that the speech should be about the developmental aspects of the state. As far as I understand, the governor is of the opinion that since the citizenship law is not under the jurisdiction of the state, there was no need for it to be mentioned. Also, since the matter is sub judice, it was not right to mention it in the Assembly,” a Raj Bhavan official said.
Chennithala has said he has given a notice to Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan seeking his permission to move the resolution in the Assembly under the rule 130 of the legislative business. He accused the Governor of publicly challenging the unanimous resolution passed by the state Assembly against CAA enacted by the Parliament during its winter session.
“Even the single member of the BJP in the Kerala Assembly did not cast his vote against the resolution passed by the Assembly against the CAA. But, the governor has made public statements saying it was unconstitutional,” he told a press conference here.
(With inputs from agencies)