Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led Opposition in Kerala has decided to play the waiting game in the ongoing tiff between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the functioning of universities in the state.
The disagreement between the two began after Khan went public to say that the higher education sector in the state has gone to the dogs as there is massive political interference in appointment of Vice-Chancellors and in teaching posts.
He went to on say that he now regrets putting his signature in the re-appointment order of the Kannur Vice-chancellor and hence does not wish to continue as chancellor and asked Vijayan to pass an ordinance to that effect and take over the post.
On Monday December 13, Khan reportedly asked his staff not to accept any files which comes to him in the capacity of chancellor.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said that if the Congress does not play its cards well in the present fight between two top echelons in power, it will end up cutting a sorry figure.
“There are limits to which a Governor can go, but for a democratically elected Chief Minister, he can play the political card at will and it’s here that the Congress knows, if it for obvious reasons supports the Governor, who has been a handpicked person by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they could burn their fingers. Khan and the Vijayan government had had aberrations earlier too, but they patched up quickly. So this time, they will play the waiting game,” said the media critic who did not wished to be identified.
Vijayan was quick to retort and said it’s surprising that after initially putting his signature and then going back on it means he (Khan) has come under some sort of duress and also added that the government has no plans to take over the post of chancellor from the Governor.
Meanwhile, in a guarded statement, the Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan demanded a judicial probe done into all the appointments in Universities.
“We are happy that the Governor has realised what we had pointed out when all these appointments were being made. For us the tiff between the Governor and the Chief Minister is not an issue as there are ‘people’ in Delhi who will settle things, like they did in the past, when a tiff broke out between the two here,” said Satheesan.
Joining the issue was the BJP, when Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan asked Vijayan to correct himself saying it’s very clear he has violated his oath of secrecy as appointments have been gifted to pro CPI-M people, which is what the Governor pointed out.