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This article was first published 2 years ago  » News » Don't control Raj Bhavan, Guv Khan tells Kerala govt as tiff escalates

Don't control Raj Bhavan, Guv Khan tells Kerala govt as tiff escalates

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
February 19, 2022 17:45 IST
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The ongoing tiff between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the Left Democratic Front government took a new turn on Saturday as he publicly lashed out at the latter saying that no one in government has the authority to 'control' Raj Bhavan and it is his duty to ensure that their business is conducted in accordance with the Constitution.

IMAGE: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Photograph: ANI Photo

Making a scathing attack against the Left government, he said the practice of giving pension benefits to the personal staff of ministers just after completing two years a few months ago was a 'gross violation and abuse of authority' and 'misuse and abuse of money of people of Kerala.'


He revealed that when it came to his notice, he requested the government to scrap the practice and make it part of the policy address.

Khan, who delivered the policy address of the government in the state Assembly on Friday after putting them on tenterhooks by withholding assent to it, said it was his constitutional duty to advise the government and it was up to them how they take it.

The governor also made it clear that he was going to pursue the pension matter and not going to leave it there.

"I am here not to run the administration. I am here to ensure that the business of the government is conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and constitutional morality," he told reporters in the state capital.

Khan pointed out that when he served as Union cabinet minister, he could appoint only 11 persons in his personal staff but in Kerala every minister has more than 20 personal staff, which causes huge financial burden to the state exchequer.

Nowhere in the country are these staff, who are appointed on a co-terminus basis, eligible to receive pension.

Alleging that party recruitment was taking place in the name of appointment of the personal staff, he said they were essentially political workers working for the party for two years and being financed by the state exchequer.

On the recent shifting of senior bureaucrat K R Jyothilal as principal secretary, general administration department by the government yielding to the Governor's pressure, Khan said: "Yes... I cannot accept the position when anybody from the Kerala government tries to control the Raj Bhavan indirectly by imposing their choice on me... by deputing staff of their choice in Raj Bhavan. This I can not accept," he said.

It was Jyothilal who had written the letter on behalf of the government to the Raj Bhavan a few days ago citing the violation of prevailing conventions in the appointment of former BJP leader Hari S Kartha as additional personal assistant to the governor.

Sources had said the governor signed the policy document on Thursday, the eve of the budget session, after receiving information from the government that the senior IAS officer was replaced by top bureaucrat Sarada Muraleedharan as the principal secretary, GAD.

Claiming that it was the government that held Jyothilal responsible in the issue, the Governor said he told them that no one in the government had the authority to control Raj Bhavan and if they tried to do so then it would lead to a "constitutional crisis".

He also came out against Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader and former minister A K Balan, who criticised him.

Khan said Congress leader Satheesan was making "absolutely irresponsible statements" and advised him to study from his senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala.

The corridors of power in Kerala on Thursday witnessed high drama on the eve of the state Assembly session with Khan refusing to sign the policy document of the CPI-M-led LDF government, expressing strong displeasure over a letter written by it against the appointment of a senior journalist-turned politician in a key post in the Raj Bhavan.

The issue was resolved after the government, yielding to the governor's pressure, replaced Jyothilal.

However, in the policy address, he outlined the administrative achievements of the Left-front government on Friday.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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