Kerala CM takes firm stand, convinces Governor to read out State’s views on CAA

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 29, 2020 Published on January 29, 2020

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan (file pic)

With a deft but firm diplomacy overnight, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan prevented a prolonged spat with Governor Arif Mohammad Khan from escalating further.

In the process, he prevailed on the Governor to read out the text of the Address to the Legislative Assembly in its ‘entirety,’ without omitting references to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

On Tuesday night, the Governor had expressed reservations about reading out para 18 that referred to the State government’s stand against CAA, and went on to say that he would omit it from his speech.

Arif Mohammad Khan, during his short stint as Governor, has already dropped enough hints that he would wish to be seen as different from his predecessors.

His decision to seek a report from the State government on why it chose to sue the Centre in the Supreme Court under Article 131 over CAA without first informing him, had already pitted him against the Left Democratic Front government.

That his immediate predecessor and former Supreme Court Chief Justice P Sathasivam appeared to side with the State government in the row did not bother him too much.

Governor Khan chose to air his own views publicly and often shared them with with the media to the growing discomfiture of the State government.

Chief Minister writes back

The Chief Minister wanted to avoid a confrontation, and sent a note to the Raj Bhavan late on Tuesday night in reply to the one that the Governor had exchanged with him.

He had ‘carefully gone through the note in which the the Governor has raised points, but on which clarifications have already been submitted. This short reply confines itself to the aspect the Address to the Assembly under Article.’ “I submit that the concerns of the State Government have to be articulated,” Vijayan said. “Since the constitutional exercised with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, it is requested that the Address approved by the Council of Ministers be read in its entirety sans any additions or deletion.”

The Governor did not brief anybody about his intention on Wednesday morning, but sprang a surprise on the State Assembly saying he would read out the entire text as requested by the Chief Minister despite his own reservations.

Published on January 29, 2020
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