Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday hit out at Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over his allegations against the state government on a number of issues, calling him an anti-Communist propagandist and urged him not to stoop to the level of opposition politicians who target the Left dispensation in the southern state.
Hours after Khan launched an attack on the LDF government at a press conference at the Raj Bhavan, Vijayan, also a veteran CPI(M) leader, accused the former of showing submissiveness towards RSS and told him to understand the history of the Communist movement in Kerala.
Khan, the anti-Communist propagandist of the day, should understand that the Communists were subjected to suppression and hunted before it came to power in the state through ballot in 1957, Vijayan said at a party programme in Kannur. He said the Communists did not come to power through use of force and instead the people supported them after realising that they were working for the public.
Vijayan said the post of the Governor is a Constitutional responsibility, not a position from which one expresses personal opinions. The Chief Minister further said that Khan’s attempts to defame the Left, like the Congress and BJP, would be a futile exercise in Kerala.
The Governor, speaking to the media earlier on Monday, September 19, alleged that the Communist ideology of the ruling Left Front was brought in from outside the country and that it permits use of force to silence dissent.
Hitting back, Vijayan alleged that the RSS ideology was based on fascism prevailing in Italy and the views of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler against communism, Christianity and Islam. He further alleged that the RSS went there to study about these ideologies and brought them here.
Vijayan took a dig at the Congress, too, saying it was not fit to take on the BJP, as many of its former leaders were leaving it for the saffron party. He said Rahul Gandhi was spending 19 days in a small state like Kerala ruled by the Left and was devoting fewer days in big BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh as part of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra.’
“Why is the Congress having difficulty in strongly opposing or speaking against the BJP? Congress has turned into a force which cannot take on the BJP. Both of them are trying to derail development and progress in Kerala and suffocate the LDF government,” Vijayan alleged.
Khan’s unprecedented press conference on Monday morning created waves in the state with the Left Front questioning his conduct as Governor while the Congress and the BJP demanded Vijayan’s resignation. CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan, speaking to reporters, said nothing new was said by the Governor and that he and RSS were “birds of the same feather.”
Senior CPI(M) leader and politburo member A Vijayaraghavan told reporters that the Governor’s remarks regarding Communism indicate his lack of clarity on the issue and that he should function as per the Constitution and the laws framed by the state government. “He is not a centre of limitless authority,” he added.
Another senior CPI(M) leader, A K Balan, reacting to the Governor’s remarks in his press conference, said Khan has not been able to show any irregularity in the video-clips and letters released by him. “He is just spitting at the ceiling,” Balan said.
The BJP, on the other hand, came out in support of the Governor and said that in view of the revelations made by Khan, Vijayan should resign from his post. BJP state president K Surendran said that since the Chief Minister went to the Governor to get someone he wants appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, as alleged by Khan, it indicates “nepotism and corruption” on the part of Vijayan.
Furthermore, since no action was taken with regard to the alleged attempted assault of the Governor in 2019 at Kannur University, a judicial probe should be carried out under the supervision of a High Court judge, Surendran contended.
Talking on similar lines, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president and MP K Sudhakaran said the allegations by the Governor against the Chief Minister were serious, deserve an independent probe and that Vijayan should resign as his actions indicated nepotism. The Left Front was ruling the state by pressurising and intimidating the Governor, Sudhakaran alleged.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly and Congressman V D Satheesan, on the other hand, said all this was a drama being enacted by the Governor and BJP and the Congress has no role to play in it. Satheesan said they welcomed the Governor’s decision not to sign the University Laws and Lokayukta Amendment Bills.
At the same time, he told reporters that while the UDF was not going to take sides in the matter, the Chief Minister should answer the Governor’s allegations regarding the 2019 heckling incident at Kannur University. He criticised Vijayan for going to the Governor for appointing someone of his choice as the Vice-Chancellor of Kannur University, saying no Chief Minister has done such a thing. (PTI)