THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Governor summoning the Chief Minister is unusual and uncanny in the same breath. But the summons did come and it has clearly thrown the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government and the CPM into a tizzy, leaving Left leaders fuming at the ‘unnecessary and unwarranted’ step.
“The completely apolitical actions by some cadre have left the LDF red-faced. Now, even if the murder has no political link, such an impression can be manufactured. With the recent bout of political violence, the focus has been shifted from the medical college scam involving the BJP,” observed Left sources. The Governor summoning the Chief Minister to take stock of the political scenario as well as the prevailing law and order situation is a rarity as far as Kerala is concerned. Though there were similar occasions in neighbouring states, it’s totally ‘unusual’ in Kerala, said a former Chief Secretary. “There were similar instances in other states. Recently, the West Bengal Governor had reportedly summoned Mamata Banerjee over communal flareups. However, in Kerala it’s uncommon,” he said.
In May, when there were continuous retaliatory political attacks in Kannur, the Governor had asked the CM to take urgent steps to address the festering law and order situation. Last October, the Governor had summoned then Home Secretary Nalini Netto and DGP Loknath Behera to assess the situation in Kannur and directed them to take requisite steps to restore normalcy.“The Governor summoning the CM is the most direct approach to get hold of the situation. Constitutionally, the Governor has the right to do so. Most likely, a detailed report would be sent to the Centre,” said another former top official. Meanwhile, some Left leaders termed the Governor’s move as an ‘unnecessary action’. “It’s true the string of political clashes should end at the earliest. The government is responsible, capable and sincere in its efforts to find a solution to the same. The CM has made it clear he’s ready to initiate dialogue to maintain peace. Then why summon him? It can’t be considered as causal. In the backdrop of the political highhandedness from the part of the Centre in various states, this seems to be unwarranted,” said senior CPI leader Binoy Viswam.Political observer N M Pearson said the Governor took the right step by carrying out his constitutional duty.
The power at play
The new developments will reflect in the Centre- state relations, said left thinker Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu. “The Union Home Minister assessing the law and order situation and the Governor summoning the CM are part of the Centre’s move to exercise its Constitutional powers for achieving political ends,” he said.