The stand-off between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the CPM-led state government intensified on Monday, with the former rejecting the government’s explanation regarding its appeal in the Supreme Court seeking scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
On Sunday, the Governor sought an explanation from the government on its appeal in the apex court, observing that the government going to the court is in contravention of rules. On Monday, hours after Chief Secretary Tom Jose met the Governor to explain the government side, Khan reiterated his stand. “It is unlawful and not legally correct. So, no explanation can satisfy. They have gone to the court without informing me. That is unlawful,’’ he said.
“I don’t want to talk about my next step. But, I can assure that I would not allow the constitutional machinery to collapse in the state,’’ he said.
The Governor further said, “It is neither a clash of ego nor any personal difference. My request is that as citizen of a country where we have democracy and rule of law, our duty is, not only as authorities, as elected officials, as constitutional authorities, we should abide by the Constitution and the law. In a democracy, individuals are with authority. But that authority does not give licence to anybody to violate the rules. It is not to be projected as differences between the Governor and the government.’’
Quoting rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly, the Governor said the Assembly shall not discuss any matter which does not concern the state. “So you are violating the rules and laws which you had yourself have framed,” he said.
Khan also targeted CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who has called for a discussion on the abolition of the office of the Governor. “It proves only one point. He (Yechury) is not able to find fault with me. He is asking for the abolition of the Governor’s office so there is nobody to see that rules are followed and Constitution is followed. They are entitled to have their views. But, that authority only people of India can give,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, BJP’s lone legislator O Rajagopal on Monday told the media both the Chief Minister and the Governor should maintain restraint. It is not proper for the Governor to make public statements, he said, adding that issues with the Chief Minister should be “discussed personally and settled amicably”.
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