Given the ongoing tussle between Govervor Arif Mohhamad Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala is likely to ring in the new year with a plenty of political fireworks with many crucial decisions, including the Bill removing the former as Chancellor.
Interestingly, the decisions have to be taken at a time when the relations between the two leaders have hit the rock bottom.
Khan, who is travelling, is expected to be back in the New Year and the first file that he will be looking into is the Bill that has been passed by the Kerala Assembly removing him as the chancellor of 14 universities in the state.
The Bill became a necessity for the Vijayan government after Khan started throwing spanners in the functioning of the government, which was running the higher education system in the state as a department of the CPI-M, as per Khan. Vice-Chancellors, teaching and administrative jobs was being given to the party cadres, in violation of all norms.
With the Bill now before Khan, he may look into it but not sit in judgement as it is an issue concerning him. The Governor has been reiterating that he will stay away from judging matters if he is the subject.
Hence in all likelihood, if the Governor does not sign the Bill, he will lay it before the President.
However, Vijayan had dropped enough hints contradicting the media speculation that the customary Governor’s address might not happen on the first day of the Assembly session in a new calendar year. To a question, he replied that the government has not decided to skip the governor’s address and that a speech is being prepared.
Many are seeing it as a climb down as the Congress-led Opposition in Kerala has always been wary of the standoff between the two as they see it as nothing but a “match fixing”.
Hence all eyes are fixed now on how Khan deals with the Bill as he has to make the first move. If he reads out the customary Governor’s address, then the Congress’s assumption that the entire standoff being “stage-managed” will turn out to be true.