Kerala Governor justifies ‘withdrawing pleasure’ from minister amid Tamil Nadu row

New Delhi: At a time when Tamil Nadu Governor and CM MK Stalin are at odds over jailed minister’s dismissal, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan justified withdrawing pleasure from finance minister K N Balagopal last year. Arif Khan said withdrawal of pleasure does not mean dismissal.

“You take the oath to uphold the unity and integrity of India. And the person who has taken that oath says publicly that a person from a particular region of the country cannot have an understanding of the educational system of another state of this country. I think that is a violation of that oath,” the Governor said. He said CM did not consider it a violation of the oath and that is why KN Balagopal is continuing.

KN Balagopal had reportedly said during an event last year that those who come from places like Uttar Pradesh may find it difficult to understand the democratic practices of the universities in Kerala.

Governor Khan wrote to CM saying he had “ceased to enjoy pleasure” in Balagopal and accused him of making a speech undermining unity. CM Pinarayi Vijayan later wrote back to the Governor rejecting his demand for action against KN Balagopal.

“So, expression of displeasure is different…in that sense it was. Because in my opinion it was. (But) Chief Minister did not consider it violation of oath, he is continuing,” he told reporters.

On Thursday, hours after dismissing minister V Senthil Balaji from the cabinet, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi later kept it in abeyance. According to Article 164(1) of the Constitution, the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister, and the Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.

Shibimol KG