Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 17, 2020: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday accused chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan of violating the Constitution by not approaching him before going to the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Amid a heated war of words with the chief minister, the governor said Vijayan had no right to spend state funds on the petition.
“I am holding the CM responsible as he has violated the Constitution... I am not holding him responsible in a personal capacity. I just want to make sure that the Constitution and the law is followed and maintained,” Khan said.
Speaking to reporters, the governor said Vijayan was “duty-bound” to approach him on such decisions.
“As far as I am concerned, the rule of duties are clear. It’s already established how the CM is supposed to approach me... As far as I am concerned, the CM is duty-bound to approach me before he passes any such orders. I have no problem with the government or opposition holding a different opinion on NPR or CAA,” he said.
The governor’s statement came amid a heated war of words with Pinarayi Vijayan on the Citizenship Amendment Bill and an ordinance passed by his cabinet to increase the number of members in local bodies.
"Yes, we have opposed the CAA. We have demanded it to be repealed in the Kerala Assembly. It’s best that those who are speaking now, should spend time reading that book (Constitution). Everything is written in it. This is a country where democracy prevails and not the yesteryear’s ’resident’ who reigned supreme over local kingdoms. No resident is above the Assembly," Vijayan had said at an anti-CAA meet in Malappuram on Thursday.
Khan has earlier criticised the Pinarayi Vijayan government, saying the governor is not a “rubber stamp” and should have been consulted on the ordinance to increase the size of local bodies.
"I make it clear the Constitution doesn’t expect me to be a rubber stamp. I have to apply my mind. I will need time to go through what the ordinance is all about. With the House session to be convened soon, what was the need? I have raised some questions. After getting answers, I will apply my mind. I never said I will not sign," Khan had said.
When pointed out that the government would return it (ordinance) to him if he didn’t sign, Khan shot back: "Who said so? There is nothing like that."
Khan has been taking a tough stance over the manner in which the Vijayan government has responded to the amended citizenship law. "Some people here, think they are above law," he had remarked.