Guv trying to topple lone Left govt in country: Kodiyeri

Kodiyeri Balakrishnan AK Balan
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan (right) and A K Balan address media in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Toughening the stance in the tussle against Kerala Governor, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday alleged Arif Mohammed Khan was trying to usurp the only Left government in the country. Addressing the media here after the party state committee meeting, Balakrishnanan said there were concerted efforts to bring down the CPM-led government in the state.

"The Governor has made an unprecedented intervention," Balakrishnan said referring to Khan's refusal to sign 11 ordinances. "This is against the democratic principles," he said.

"Raj Bhavan and the state government are two Constitutional institutions that should work hand-in-hand. But the governor's actions do not encourage such a relationship. This will only weaken democratic practices," he said.

"Till now, the party has not publicly commented on the Governor's statements. But his stringent actions have forced us to respond," Balakrishnan said.

"In other states, the Centre has used the Governor's office to topple the state government. It seems there are efforts to create such an atmosphere here too. Due to the governor's refusal to sign the ordinances including the one to amend the Lokayukta Act, the government is forced to convene a special Assembly session. This is unprecedented in Kerala. When an ordinance is not approved, he has to give the reason for such refusal," he said.

"Lok Ayukta has powers that neither High Court nor Supreme Court has. The question then arises, whether it should be such sweeping powers," CPM state secretary said.

Referring to the report that CPI is looking to moot fresh clauses for the Lokayukta Law, Balakrishnan said a final decision will be taken after discussing with the LDF constituent.

The party has not thought about the ministerial reshuffle, he said. The state committee considered the performance of the ministers. There were suggestions regarding the working of ministers, and the party will keep giving such recommendations, he said.

He played down the criticism raised against the home department under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying that police have always been criticised.

Referring to the controversy in Kozhikode where CPM mayor attended a programme conducted by Balagokulam, CPM state secretary said mayors need not attend all programmes.

He also distanced away from the film poster row and said CPM does not support calls to boycott films. "Social media comments do not reflect CPM's stand," he said.

The stand-off between Khan and the Pinarayi Vijayan government is nothing new. Recently, several ordinances, including the Kerala Lokayukta (Amendment) Ordinance, issued by the government lapsed on August 8 as Khan had not signed them.

In an earlier stand-off with the government, Khan had sought an explanation from the Kannur University vice-chancellor over alleged irregularities in the appointment of Priya Varghese, the wife of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s private secretary KK Ragesh, as an associate professor in the Malayalam department.

Last year, Khan sent a strongly-worded letter to the Vijayan, in which the governor said he was pained over the “dipping standard” of higher education in the state and blamed “brazen political interference” for it.

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