Kerala opposition extends support to CM amid Governor's move seeking resignation of FM

State Congress vice president VT Balram alleged that the Governor has been trying to utilise powers that he doesn't enjoy. 

Published: 26th October 2022 02:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2022 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

VD Satheesan

Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan. (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  After being divided and confused till now over the governor directing nine vice-chancellors to step down, the Congress-led UDF constituents have come together against Arif Mohammed Khan for seeking Finance Minister K N Balagopal’s resignation. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, who was vocal in backing Khan on the VC issue, on Wednesday came down heavily on the governor, and asked the government to dismiss Khan’s letter with “utter contempt.”

Meanwhile, RSP leader Shibu Baby John went to the extent of demanding that the governor’s state of mind be examined. The Opposition is now a relieved lot as there were differences within the Congress and the UDF over the governor asking the VCs to resign. While Satheesan along with Congress state president K Sudhakaran and senior leader Ramesh Chennithala welcomed the governor’s act, K C Venugopal and K Muraleedharan had opposed the same. The Muslim League had also hit out against the governor. In fact, the Congress central leadership was unhappy with the state unit taking a narrow stance, missing the larger picture. It’s learnt that Venugopal issued a statement against the governor’s move at Rahul Gandhi’s instructions.

Speaking to the media in Delhi on Wednesday, Satheesan was highly critical of the governor’s latest move. Reiterating that the Opposition takes an issue-based stance, Satheesan said the spat between the governor and the government is akin to a ‘fake encounter’. He said there is no point in asking whether the Opposition endorses the chief minister or the governor.

“Both the governor and the government were hand in glove earlier. Now, the duo is engaged in deceiving the public. This is a ploy to distract people’s attention from ongoing controversies faced by the state government. The government should dismiss the governor’s letter urging the chief minister to withdraw the finance minister with utter contempt,” said Satheesan. Chennithala also said the governor has no right to remove a minister from the cabinet.  

Congress state vice-president V T Balram criticised the governor’s latest move, and alleged that Khan seemed to be exercising non-existent powers. IUML general secretary P K Kunhalikutty opined that the state will not recognise the governor’s rule and emphasised that there is a government here. Lamenting that it is the people who are at the receiving end due to the spat between the governor and the LDF government, he maintained that there are glitches with the latter as well.

WHAT BALAGOPAL SAID

I was elected the national president of the SFI in the Midnapore meeting. From there, before coming to Kerala, I went straight to the Banaras Hindu University in UP. Because there was a shootout there. Five students were gunned down. Do you know who did it? The security guard of the vice-chancellor! The VC has 50-100 security guards. Several universities there function like that. People coming to Kerala from such places will find it difficult to understand the universities here. Kerala’s universities are places where academic discussions take place in a democratic way. They are democratic establishments bringing a big change. We are passing through a phase where more efforts — considering the high development indicators of Kerala — are to be taken to foster the democracy in universities and to strengthen the participation of people from different backgrounds there.

Storm in a tea cup, says Kanam

Launching a scathing attack on the governor, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran challenged him to oust Finance Minister K N Balagopal. He alleged that the governor is ignorant about his rights and termed the controversy as a storm in the tea cup. “It is the prerogative of the chief minister to decide who should be in his cabinet and accordingly he will recommend the names before the governor. Since the Raj Bhavan has got a post office, he is free to write a letter. I don’t see this as a major crisis and it is nothing but a storm in a tea cup”, said Kanam. Senior CPM leaders T M Thomas Isaac and A K Balan had also come down heavily against the governor’s move.



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