Friday, Dec 02, 2022
×
Outlook.com
×

Kerala Govt vs Governor: Why Arif M Khan Refuses To Pass 'Controversial' Bills Sent By Vijayan Govt

Kerala Govt vs Governor: Why Arif M Khan Refuses To Pass 'Controversial' Bills Sent By Vijayan Govt

After the recently concluded assembly session in Kerala, a total of 11 bills had been sent for the Governor's assent. According to sources in the Raj Bhavan, the Governor gave assent to 'five of them considering people's welfare' before leaving for Delhi.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

In its 75 years of independence, India has seen many famous rivalries between the state governments and state Governors. One of the most significant such rivalries in the recent past involved former West Bengal Governor Jagdip Dhankar and the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government. And now, it seems a similar tussle is escalating in Kerala where former union minister Arif Mohammed Khan is presently the Governor.

On Wednesday, Khan signed five bills passed by the Assembly but left out the contentious ones, including the Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill.

According to sources, the files which Khan signed were "non-controversial".

What are the "controversial" bills that Khan refuses to pass?

Among the bills that did not get a nod from the Governor are the Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill, University Laws Amendment Bill. Earlier in August, the Kerala Assembly passed the controversial Kerala Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The legislation, that curbs the powers of the state’s anti-corruption watchdog, has been criticised by many including the Congress in Kerala which called the day on which the legislation was passed a "black day". 

The Bill is awaiting nod from the Governor following which it will become an Act. However, Khan had said earlier that he will not support “any illegal step” by the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

On September 1, Kerala Assembly passed The University Laws Amendment Bill aims at curtailing the powers of the Governor as the Chancellor of universities. This bill too awaits the Governor's approval. 

Governor vs Govt?

After the recently concluded assembly session in Kerala, a total of 11 bills had been sent for the Governor's assent. According to sources in the Raj Bhavan, the Governor gave assent to "five files considering people's welfare" before leaving for New Delhi on Wednesday evening, PTI reported.

However, Khan had repeatedly made it clear that he won't sign the two controversial bills.

The decision on the other four bills was also reportedly pending.

The Governor's move comes two days after he held an unprecedented press conference at the Raj Bhavan to release video clips of the alleged heckling against him at Kannur University in 2019 and letters sent to him by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on interference in university matters.

At the press meet, Khan had also accused the chief minister and the state government of using "pressure tactics" against the Raj Bhavan and using force to silence voices of dissent.

The ruling CPI(M), on Tuesday, had accused Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of creating a 'constitutional crisis' in the state at the behest of the BJP and RSS. 

Opposition pitches in

In wake of the public discontent between Khan and Kerala government, the Congress on Wednesday took a dig at Khan for paying a personal visit to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwant when the latter was in the southern state, saying that the former's Constitutional office has become subordinate to that of the Prime Minister and Home Minister.

AICC general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said that the office of Governor is a Constitutional post and that such a thing, where a Governor of a state goes and calls on the head of an organisation, has never happened before. 

On the ongoing tussle between Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ramesh claimed it was a "manufactured fight" aimed at diverting the attention from the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is receiving a huge public response.  The objective of the CPI(M) in Kerala, Ramesh alleged, is to strengthen the BJP and weaken the Congress, just like Mamata Bannerjee is doing in West Bengal where because of her, the saffron party was gaining strength.

The Congress leader further added that the Governor and the Kerala CPI(M) were two sides of the same coin.

(With inputs from PTI)

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement