Amidst escalating tussle with the Kerala government, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday signed five bills passed by the Assembly recently, but left out the contentious ones, including the Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill. According to sources, the files which Khan signed were “non-controversial" ones.
He did not give his nod to the University Laws Amendment Bill, which aims at curtailing the powers of Governor as the Chancellor of universities. “The Governor gave assent to five files considering people’s welfare," Raj Bhavan sources said. He signed the bills before leaving for New Delhi this evening.
After the recently concluded assembly session, a total of 11 bills including the contentious Lok Ayukta (Amendment) Bill and University Laws (Amendment) Bill, had been sent for the Governor’s assent. However, Khan had repeatedly made it clear that he won’t sign these two controversial bills.
The decision on the other four bills was also reportedly pending. The Governor’s move comes two days after he held an unprecedented press conference at the Raj Bhavan to release video clips of the alleged heckling against him at Kannur University in 2019 and letters sent to him by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on interference in university matters.
At the press meet, Khan had also accused the chief minister and the state government of using “pressure tactics" against the Raj Bhavan and using force to silence voices of dissent. The ruling CPI(M), on Tuesday, had accused Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of creating a ‘constitutional crisis’ in the state at the behest of the BJP and RSS.