Amid the ongoing tussle with the state government over various issues, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Friday asserted that the governor's position is not a rubber stamp and that he will apply his mind when anything comes for his approval.
Khan, who has been serving as the Kerala Governor for three years, also said that he does not believe that all non-BJP states have problems with the respective governors.
"I don't believe that all non-BJP states have problems with the Governor and I also do not believe that with BJP governments, there are no differences of opinion between the government and the Governor. Of the recent three judgments, one is regarding West Bengal, one is regarding Kerala and one is regarding Gujarat, which has a BJP government. I do not think we should generalise these things. Even in BJP-ruled states, there have been sometimes differences of opinion…," he said.
He was referring to certain judgments passed by the Supreme Court.
During a session at the Times Now Summit 2022 here, Khan, in response to a question about criticism that the Governor is a rubber stamp, said the question is "why do you have the institution of the Governor".
"You have made this arrangement, which involves a lot of expenditure only to sit there and behave like a rubber stamp, not to apply his mind? President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed was squarely criticised by everybody to the extent that a cartoon was published in newspapers wherein he is sitting in the bathtub and asking his attendant for any more ordinances to be signed. If you please recall after the emergency…
"Why don't you place a rubber stamp in the Raj Bhavan? After the Cabinet adopts some ordinance, the chief minister comes to the Raj Bhavan to a particular room, picks up that rubber stamp and put it…," he said.
He also emphasised that India has been culturally and spiritually a unit but the country has been politically fragmented for ages.
"We needed somebody in the state when your unity was only 75 years old and your history of political fragmentation, centrifugal forces operating in India is a few thousand years old," he said.
Further, Khan said that "if anything comes to me for approval, I will apply my mind".
The Governor also mentioned the agitations that happened in certain parts in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Act and took a dig at the Kerala government, which had passed a resolution against the Act.
"… in a democracy, everyone has the right to criticise, criticism is the essence of democracy but the problem arises when you cross the boundary. Citizenship is something that comes exclusively under the central government.
"If any political party in a state, pass a resolution against it, it is absolutely fine. But when you take the matter to the Kerala Assembly which has no jurisdiction over citizenship and you waste the money of the exchequer for summoning these sessions and then you go to the Supreme Court, and you don't even inform the Governor, then the problem arises because you are exceeding your powers," he pointed out.
Khan and the Kerala government are at loggerheads over various issues.
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