Kerala opposition puts LDF in a tight spot over tiff with Governor

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TRIVANDRUM: Kerala’s Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has put the state’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in a tight spot by mooting a move for recalling Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who has locked horns with the state government over the citizenship (amendment) act.

 

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala sought to wrest political advantage over the ruling front on the protests against the controversial law by seeking permission from Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan to introduce a resolution asking President Ram Nath Kovind to recall the Governor. The new session of the Kerala Assembly is slated to begin on Wednesday.

The government, which angered the governor by filing a petition challenging the law in the Supreme Court without his knowledge, is in a fix whether to support the resolution or not, particularly in the wake of opposition attack on the government for going soft on the governor.  

The ground on which the opposition has sought to move the resolution is the governor’s open criticism of the resolution passed by the assembly against the law.

"If the Governor had an issue with the resolution that was passed in the Assembly, he should have informed the Speaker. Publically questioning the legislature's rights or ridiculing the Assembly cannot be justified," Mr Chennithala told reporters in Kochi.

Governor is very much part of the Assembly, but he has condemned what we did. This is a clear disrespect to the assembly and hence we are bringing in the substantive motion," said Chennithala.

Khan was sharp in his dismissal of the notice, declaring it did not "deserve comment".

"I don't think this kind of thing deserves any comment. Before opening my mouth, I read the Constitution and (study the) law to be aware of role and duties conferred upon me," he was quoted by news agency ANI.

In an earlier response to the increasing tension between Khan and the Kerala Assembly, a tweet from the Governor's official account referred to rule 119(d) of the Rules and Procedure of the Kerala Assembly, which he said "clearly states the Assembly shall not discuss any matter which is not the concern of the state government".

The opposition, which had initially joined the platform with the ruling front against the law, has been treading a separate path. It has turned a blind eye on the mega human chain being formed by the LDF from the northern district of the state to the southern district against the law later on Sunday.

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