It is my duty to protect Constitution: Arif Mohammed Khan

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday said in matters affecting the relationship of the state government with the Centre, other states or the Supreme court, the state is bound to inform the Governor
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo | BP Deepu, EPS)
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo | BP Deepu, EPS)

PALAKKAD: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday said in matters affecting the relationship of the state government with the Centre, other states or the Supreme court, the state is bound to inform the Governor. “The problem arises when rules are ignored,” Khan told reporters at the Guesthouse here on Thursday. “I am the representative of the President of India, and not of the Central government,” he said. “It is my duty to protect the Constitution. I have taken an oath to protect and defend the law. If I don’t defend a law, not just CAA, passed by Parliament and for which the President, whom I represent, has given his assent, I have no business to be here,” said Khan.

“There is a breach of propriety and protocol when the Governor comes to know about the issue of the state government approaching the Supreme Court through the newspapers,” he said. “People have the right to disagree with the laws, including CAA, and I respect it. I am only insisting that if there are differences, the Constitution has a mechanism to resolve it. The state cannot decide whether a particular law is unconstitutional. If one considers a particular piece of legislation as unconstitutional, there are higher courts to decide on it. With regard to other differences, there is a civilised way to resolve them through discussions by sitting across the table,” he said. 

The Governor said citizenship is purely a Central subject and the state has no business in it. “The case related to the constitutional validity of the CAA is in the Supreme Court and it will be settled there. The law is above everyone and the Constitution cannot be used for extraneous purposes. The business of the government is transacted as per the laws, which the elected representatives themselves have laid down. My duty is to uphold this law,” he said. When pointed out that the Governor had come in for severe criticism from various quarters for his confrontationist stand on the CAA issue, Khan said: “It is not correct. Many past governors had been criticised by politicians.” He said a former governor was even criticised for the dress she wore.

Asked about the policy speech to be delivered by the Governor on January 29, which contains the state government’s stance on CAA, Khan said: “I have not seen the draft copy of the speech. I will do my duty.”

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