Kerala (VSK). Government of Kerala (GoK) is all set to supplant Governor Arif Mohammed Khan with “renowned academic experts” as Chancellors in Kerala. State Cabinet which met on Wednesday, decided to request the Governor to promulgate an ordinance removing himself as the sole Chancellor of all universities in the state. It is not clear whether all fourteen universities in the state are going to get separate Chancellors. By this decision, the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) regime appears to be opting a confrontationist attitude towards the Governor with respect to running the universities in the state. When the proposed ordinance materialises, the Raj Bhavan will lose its control over the varsities. Cabinet proposed to convene a meeting of the legislative assembly to pass the ordinance as a bill.
The Cabinet thinks that the M.M. Punchii Commission of 2007 constituted to study the Centre-State relations, had vouched against granting Governors the powers of the Chancellors. Cabinet thinks, the office of the chancellor is a creation of the legislative assembly hence it enjoys the power to withdraw the Governor’s powers as the Chancellor. Cabinet cites, the Punchhi Commission had insisted, the state governments should not burden the Governors with the role of Chancellor; it will adversely affect the discharge of his constitutional obligations.
Cabinet decision comes close on the heels of the CPM state secretary’s statement on Sunday, November 6, that his party would go to any extent to remove the Governor from the position of the Chancellor. The three-day meeting of CPM leadership had taken the decision which the Cabinet declared.
But, Opposition Congress-led UDF has poured ice water on the ruling LDF’s hope for a unanimous resolution against the Governor’s power. LoP V.D. Satheesan has stated that UDF would oppose it.
Governor Mohammed Arif Khan has made it clear that the proposed ordinance is illegal. He would not sign it. If necessary, he would send it to the President of Bharat. He said that people have lost confidence in the LDF regime. CM speaks the language of extremists. His party rules ‘for the party’. Agitations and violence increase day by day. He added that if the ordinance targets him, he would not be the right judge for it. He was indirectly stating that he would not sign it.
Governor had sent a letter to the CM couple of months before saying that he (CM) can take over the Chancellorship hence he was ready to sign an ordinance in that respect. It is reported that he is not looking into relevant files since then.
BJP president K. Surendran alleged that the proposed ordinance is for largescale corruption in varsities.