Kerala CPI(M) slams governor Khan’s wayside sit-in, calls it ‘jolt to democracy’

Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala issued a pointed reminder to governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday that his role is that of the head of state, and it is inappropriate of him to adopt the demeanor of a “street goon”.
The party characterised Khan’s recent wayside sit-in against the SFI’s black flag protest as a “jolt to democracy”. The Left party accused Khan of neglecting the obligation to adhere to the country’s rules, irrespective of his esteemed position.
In a strongly-worded editorial featured in the party’s publication ‘Deshabhimani,’ the CPI(M) contended that the governor lacked the authority to make independent decisions, emphasising that the Constitution empowers him to act solely in accordance with the advice of the state cabinet.
The state has a government elected by the people to take decisions, it underscored. The governor staged a wayside sit-in two days ago, demanding action against SFI activists who protested against him in Nilamel. Describing his actions as a “jolt to democracy”, the CPI(M) urged Khan to exhibit maturity in addressing protests against him.
Supporting its students’ outfit’s black flag protest, the CPI(M) pointed out that the Constitution guarantees the right to protest against any administrator. The SFI had protested against the governor’s alleged involvement in “saffronising the universities” in the state, the editorial further asserted. “Arif Mohammed Khan is the Governor of Kerala, not a street goon,” the ruling party said and also questioned the governor’s mental state, alleging that he rushed towards protestors, challenging the Constitution.
“He acted as though the existing laws of the country did not apply to him,” the party alleged. There has been no response from either Khan or Raj Bhavan regarding the editorial. Tensions between the governor and the CPI(M)-led LDF government have persisted over various issues. The Marxist party had previously accused Khan of acting with an agenda, allegedly with the support of the BJP-ruled Centre.
A spectacle unfolded in Nilamel in Kollam on Saturday, as Khan, facing SFI’s black flag protest, exited his car, confronted the agitating Left student wing members, sat on the roadside, and criticised chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan — seemingly adding another chapter to the Raj Bhavan vs ruling LDF face-off.
These dramatic scenes were witnessed at Nilamel, located about 40 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Khan claimed that he had not staged a protest but was waiting for the police to show him the FIR copy following his demand for action against the protesting members of the Students Federation of India, affiliated to the CPI(M).
After more than two hours of sitting there, Khan departed only after the police presented him with a copy of the FIR lodged against 17 SFI activists under non-bailable provisions of the law. In response to these developments, the Centre extended Z+ security cover to Khan on Saturday.

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