Hours after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told him that the Governor’s policy address to the Assembly must be read in its entirety, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan read out the portions referring to the state’s objection to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
But, before reading out the paragraph, Khan aired his reservation. “I have my reservation. I am going to read it. The chief minister himself had said in his letter this is the view of the government. I disagree, but to honour his wish I am going to read this para,’’ he said.
He then read, “Our citizenship can never be based on religion as this goes against the grain of secularism, which is part of the basic structure of our Constitution. This august body unanimously passed a resolution requesting the central government to abrogate the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, which my government believes goes against the cardinal principles underlying our Constitution. Pursuant to this, my government has filed an original suit before the Hon’ble Supreme Court invoking provisions of Article 131 of the Constitution.’’
After the state cabinet approved the Governor’s customary address to the Assembly and forwarded it to his office, Khan had sought explanation from the Chief Minister’s Office on why the reference against CAA was included in the speech.
To this, the Chief Minister replied that the concerns of the state government have to be articulated in the address. The letter said constitutional function demands that the the address approved by the cabinet be read in its entirety. While the ruling CPM welcomed the Governor reading the paragraph, the Opposition Congress alleged that it was “part of a deal between CPM and BJP’’.
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