Hardening his stand, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday rejected the Left front government's explanation over moving the Supreme Court against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 without informing him and said it was 'unlawful'.
"No explanation can satisfy me," the Governor told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday evening, a day after making it clear that he would not remain a 'mute spectator' as he sought a report from the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
Khan's strongly-worded reaction came hours after state Chief Secretary Tom Jose met him at the Raj Bhavan and explained the grounds under which the state government had filed a suit in the Supreme Court against the citizenship law.
The Chief Secretary, in the brief meeting, was also understood to have informed the Governor that the government had not willfully violated any rules, sources said.
However, the Governor, who was on his way to Ayodhya, told reporters at the airport that no explanation of theirs (government) can satisfy him as what they did was 'unlawful' and 'not legally correct'.
"My view is that approval is needed. They have gone to the Supreme Court without informing me. That is an unlawful act... not legally correct. So their no explanation can satisfy me," he said.
However, Khan maintained that the matter was neither a 'clash of egos nor of any personal differences'.
In a democracy, individuals are bestowed with brief authority, he said, adding 'that authority does not give the license to anybody to violate the law or the rules'.
Pointing out that as per legislative assembly rules, the assembly shall not discuss any matter not concerned with the state government, Khan said adding 'you have violated rules and laws which you yourself framed'.
"Any case which affects the relation between the state and the government of India, it is duty of the chief minister to submit to the Governor. And order can be issued only after the submission of the case to the Governor," he added.
As constitutional head of the state, Khan said he would try his best to ensure that the administration of the state and business of the government was transacted strictly in accordance with the rules laid down in the constitution.
"I will not allow the constitutional machinery to collapse in the state... that cannot be allowed," he said.
On Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury's statement that in independent India, the post of Governor was 'superfluous', Khan shot back saying it only proved one point that the Marxist veteran has not been able to find fault with him (Khan).
They only want the Governor's post to be abolished so that there is none to oversee whether the rules and constitution are being followed or not, the Governor said.
"They are entitled to their views. But for that this is not the forum. That authority, only the people of India can give. Let them ask the people of India to give them their trust. Then they can do whatever they want with the Constitution. Today they are not in a position to do so," he said in a dig at the Marxist party.
Though the opposition Congress has criticised the Governor for holding press meets and airing his opinion in public, the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state has extended him complete support.
However, giving a surprise to political circles, veteran saffron party leader and the lone BJP MLA in the assembly O Rajagopal on Monday criticised the Governor, saying he should show some 'restraint'.
"It is not proper for the Governor and the government make public statements. Differences of opinion should be resolved in private," he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Khan's stand had drawn the ire of the ruling front with CPI-M mouthpiece Deshabhimani slamming him for making 'political statements' and alleging he was 'threatening' the state in a 'tough language'.