Kerala Guv wants minister sacked; CM Vijayan says notext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday wrote to the Chief Minister of the state, Pinarayi Vijayan, saying that he has 'withdrawn the pleasure' against state Finance Minister KN Balagopal.
The governor's act comes as a more drastic step than what he has done over the past few days against the vice-chancellors of the state's universities asking them leave their posts. The governor was upset about Balagopal's speech, indirectly aiming at him, earlier this month, which the governor deemed as against national integration. Khan's 'withdrawing pleasure' is an indirect way to ask a CM to remove the minister from office, IANS reported,
However, CM Vijayan replied to Khan, saying that Balagopal's speech was nothing but a political response and the minister never meant to lower Khan's dignity.
In his speech earlier this month, Balagopal said, without naming Khan, that "those who come from Uttar Pradesh, where vice-chancellors move around with armed security guards, do not know the quality of the universities in Kerala".
Khan is currently on a trip to North India.
Meanwhile, State CPI secretary Kanam Rajendran said that "it was unfortunate that the governor does not know what his rights, duties and responsibilities are".
Rajendran said, "A governor does not appoint ministers, instead, it is the chief minister who appoints and withdraws a minister. When a minister is withdrawn by the chief minister, he/ she writes to the governor, who then acts. A governor just cannot appoint or withdraw state ministers."
Arif Mohammed Khan and the government of Kerala, led by CPI(M), have been at loggerheads in recent times. Issues crop up one after another between them, and the latest in the series was VCs of state universities. Khan had asked the VCs of nine state universities to resign immediately after the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University of Kerala.
The VCs concerned approached the High Court, which took up the matter on urgent basis on the Deepevali holiday and ordered that the matter would be heard again on 3 November until when the governor should refrain from any further action.
Amid this tussle, the state's Congress party unit was never hesitant to toss something into the curry. This time Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan alleged that the governor and the chief minister were engaged in a fake encounter, fooling people.
He said, "This is nothing but a drama, and the two are hand in glove to divert attention from issues where the CPI(M) leaders are caught in misconduct cases; the law and order situation in the state is appallingly poor, prices are skyrocketing, and the two are playing foolery to tell the people that they are against each other, but they are hand in glove."
All the same, Satheesan added that a governor has no right to withdraw a minister, and Khan's letter to the CM was invalid.