Challenging the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, state Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday said that he would resign if the CM showed one example of political interference by him in the appointments of the Vice-Chancellor.
While rejecting the chief minister’s allegation of political interference in this particular case, Khan offered to resign if Vijayan succeeded in presenting an example.
“He is saying that I am doing this (action against VCs) to bring RSS people. If I have nominated even one person, not just of RSS, any person, using my authority, then I will resign. Will he (CM) be able to resign if he is not able to prove it?” Khan said addressing the media here in Delhi.
Earlier, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lashed out at Khan for seeking the resignation of vice-chancellors of nine universities in the state and said that the Governor was misusing his powers as the Chancellor of varsities.
Khan had sought the resignation of VCs of the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University.
Notably, the Kerala High Court on Monday held that all nine Vice Chancellors of various universities can continue in their positions until the Chancellor issues a final order following show-cause notices to them earlier today.
CM Pinarayi Vijayan had said that the powers and duties conferred on the Governor by the Constitution are to preserve the dignity of the State, the people and the Constitution.
“No one who respects democracy can accept such overbearing tendencies. The Office of the Governor is not to put the state government in crisis or to take action against the government. The powers and duties conferred on the Governor by the Constitution are to preserve the dignity of the State, the people and the Constitution,” he had said, adding “According to the governor, the appointments of the VCs were made in all these nine universities without following the University Grants Commission (UGC) rules. In all nine universities, the Governor is the appointing authority. If the VC appointments were made illegally, then the primary responsibility lies with the appointing Governor himself. According to the logic of the Governor himself, should the VCs resign? It’s good to think about that too.”
The Chief Minister had further said that Governor or chancellor has no right to remove vice-chancellors and there is no such option in the University Act.