Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan Removed As Chancellor, BJP Terms It 'Illegal and Undemocratic'

While speaking exclusively to Outlook, state BJP president K.Surendran said that the motive of the state government is to ‘silence’ the Governor.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan

The tussle between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the Chief Minister P Vijayan touched a new low today as the Governor had been removed as the Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam deemed university. 

The CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government amended the rules of the university to remove Khan from the post of the Chancellor and decided to replace him with a person of eminence from the field of art and culture. 

The Vijayan cabinet yesterday voted to amend the rules that would result in the removal of Governor as Chancellor of 14 state universities. 

The move came in the backdrop of the continuous war of words between the Chief Minister Vijayan and the Governor. Khan earlier asked the Vice Chancellors of eleven universities to resign on the ground that the appointments violated the UGC norms. Khan cited the SC judgement that removed the VC of Kerala Technical University for not following the UGC provisions. 

As per the UGC norms, the search committee is supposed to send three names to the Governor for his recommendation. However, in this case only one name had been sent leaving no room for Khan to use his discretion. 

However, instead of submitting their resignations, the VCs approached the Kerala High Court. On hearing the case the Kerala HC said as the Governor had already sent show cause notice to the VCs, his earlier order to seek resignation became void. 

BJP condemns the move as ‘illegal and undemocratic’

Responding to the new development, Kerala state president of BJP K.Surendran exclusively told Outlook, “The ordinance has not yet been signed by the Governor. Before signing the ordinance by the Governor, how can he be removed as the Chancellor of the universities? This is an illegal and undemocratic move by the government.”  

He referred to the ‘five decades old law’ in Kerala by the state government that makes the Governor the Chancellor of the universities and said, “How without the signature of the Governor or the President can they take the step?”  

‘State government attempting to silence the Governor’ 

The BJP president also added that the motive of the state government is to ‘silence’ the Governor. “They wanted to have illegal backdoor appointments of the Vice Chancellors. They were deployed violating the UGC norms. The Governor is trying to protect the Constitution and the code of law but the state government is violating all the laws,” says the BJP leader.  

He also pointed out that the people of Kerala will never accept such violations. In reference to the Supreme Court judgment that removed the VC of Kerala Technical University he said, “There is a question of qualification in the appointments of Vice Chancellors. They are making political appointments. And on the other hand they are maligning and attacking the Governor. He was physically mishandled at Kannur University but no investigation was even conducted.”

The BJP is planning to arrange state-wise campaigns from November 15-30 through which they will reach ‘door to door’ to unveil the allegedly corrupt face of the CPI (M) government and the Chief Minister P Vijayan. “We will protest across district headquarters and will challenge the government’s illegal moves,” Surendran added. The BJP president also said that today, their supporters had been brutally beaten by the Police for protesting against the. government. 

'Governor pursuing Personal Political Objectives'- Sitaram Yechury

Earlier, while speaking to Outlook, the CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the Governor is "pursuing is personal political objectives." 

In reference to the 'smuggler' jibe of Khan against the Kerala CMO, Yechury added, "He is raking up the issues of 2020. The central probe agency has been investigating the case and after that we even went to the polls. The people of the state had given their verdict."