THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has responded to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s letter, saying he rejected the cabinet’s recommendation to convene a special assembly session on Wednesday because the government failed to convey the factors that necessitated it. He also sought to remind the chief minister that it was his duty to keep the governor informed of the government’s decisions.
In his letter to the governor on Tuesday, the CM had said that Khan’s decision was contrary to the constitutional scheme. In his reply, the governor said the farmers’ protest in Delhi was an issue in which the state had no jurisdiction so as to offer any solution. Khan also expressed his displeasure over the contents of the CM’s letter to him -- which was marked “confidential” -- being released to the media. The governor said the government had on December 18 recommended convening of the budget session of the assembly on January 8 for which approval was given on December 21.
‘Governor's duty to ensure governance is as per law of land’
The governor said, on the same day, the government withdrew its earlier recommendation and sent a fresh proposal to summon an emergency session on December 23. “Even in the current matter, I did not refuse to accede to your request. I merely raised some questions and hoped that you would respond with full information and show what you propose to do to deal with this unexpected situation,” the governor wrote in his letter.
Khan said the government did not reply to his questions, but brought in extraneous issues that he had not raised at any stage. “You did not address the question relating to the nature of emergency which necessitated summoning of an emergency session,” the governor said. He said his action was part of discharging his official duty. “Our duties are different. You are an active politician and your primary duty is to run the government for the good of people, whereas I as governor have the duty to see that business of the government is conducted in accordance with the law of the land,” Khan said. He concluded by hoping that despite differences of opinion, he and the chief minister shall always respect each other and never doubt the intentions of each other.
Farm laws to hit Kerala hard, says CM
Kerala cannot support the new farm laws as it would be the first to be hit by change in policy due to its dependence on other states for essential commodities, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. He was speaking after inaugurating the fast organised by Karshaka Sanghom at the Martyrs Column in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. “Kerala would also be the first state to feel the heat if shortage of farm produce is reported in any part of the country,” he added.
Taking part in a public event a day after the Governor rejected the government’s proposal to convene a special assembly session, many expected Pinarayi to criticise Arif Mohammed Khan openly. But the chief minister stayed clear of any such controversial comment. In his address to the farmers, he said the farm stir is a setback to those who think that opposition can be quelled by wielding the power. Replying to the queries regarding the timing of the stir, the chief minister said the state could not participate in the farmers’ protest as it was preparing for the local body election. With the election is over and the state would be in the forefront against the farm laws, the chief minister said.
Budget on Jan 15, to unveil grand plan
Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac will present the LDF government’s final budget on January 15. He projected it as a “watershed budget that builds on the strength of Kerala’s local self-government”.