Trouble seemed to loom again as Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday first refused to sign on to his address to the Assembly after the cabinet meeting had approved it, but finally came on board after the government decided to move out a senior bureaucrat whose letter had displeased him.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made a dash to the Raj Bhavan but Khan continued to be in a defiant mood and the two reportedly had an exchange of words.
One reason for his stand was that senior journalist Hari S. Kartha, who was recently appointed Additional Private Secretary to Khan, is also a member of the BJP’s state committee and this irked Vijayan and became a point of public discussion.
It is understood in the file that was sent to the Raj Bhavan, there was a mention that such a thing has not happened in the state before, and this had displeased Khan.
The official who wrote the sentence in the file was General Administration Secretary K.R. Jyothilal, and as a trade off between the governor and government, the senior bureaucrat was moved out of the post.
It was after that Khan signed the file of his address to be made at 9 a.m. on Friday to the Kerala Assembly.
Veteran Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said this is nothing but a created situation.
“The government could have easily deffused the situation, but it appears it has failed to do it. The need of the hour is both parties amicably settle it. This is a situation that could have been easily avoided,” he said.
Political watcher Joseph C. Mathew said this is yet another instance where the Governor is trying to play games.
“This is some sort of a blackmail and it should not have happened,” he said, adding that it is high time that the Centre examines the conduct of Khan.
Constitutional expert Kaleeshweran Raj said under democracy and the rules, this is not something which the Governor can do as he is duty bound to to sign on to Cabinet decisions.
Former Lok Sabha Secretary General P.D.T. Acharaya said the Governor has to sign as it is constitutionally duty bound to do it.
The CPI, the second biggest constituent of the ruling Left Democratic Front, early this month had slammed the actions of Khan with its Assistant Secretary Prakash Babu said the situation is such that none can predict how Khan will behave.