CPI(M) hits out at Kerala Governor over wayside sit-in, says protests will continue

The CPI(M) said Khan intended to orchestrate a scenario wherein he would be attacked, compelling Union government action against Kerala.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 28, 2024 | 2:55 PMUpdatedJan 28, 2024 | 2:55 PM

calicut university SFI protest: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. (South First)

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Sunday, 28 January, accused Governor Arif Mohammad Khan of acting with an agenda and support of the BJP-ruled Union government, a day after his dramatic wayside sit-in against the SFI’s black flag protest.

The SFI is the student arm of the CPI(M), which leads the LDF government in the state.

Despite the deployment of CRPF personnel for the Governor’s security by the Union government, protests would continue against him in the southern state, the Left party said.

Addressing reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, the party’s state secretary MV Govindan said Kerala was a state where people indulge in political activities with honesty and sincerity and they won’t tolerate such acts.

Khan intended to orchestrate a scenario wherein he would be attacked, thereby compelling the Union government to initiate action against the state, he alleged.

Also Read: Kerala Governor Khan gets Z+ security after showdown with SFI, police

‘Parts of the agenda’

“These all are parts of the agenda… He is acting like this with the knowledge of the Centre…Whatever he has done, the BJP is not going to achieve anything in the upcoming (Lok Sabha) elections,” Govindan said.

Dubbing as a ‘lie’ Khan’s charge that the SFI activists who waved black flags at him at Nilamel in Kollam district on Saturday had hit his car, the Left leader said it has now become clear to the whole world as television channels aired visuals of the incident.

The protesters were nowhere near his car and it was Khan who had walked towards them yelling, he added.

Claiming that the law and order situation in the southern state was intact, he wondered whether a Governor could sit in front of a shop like this anywhere other than in Kerala.

The Left leader also criticised the deployment of CRPF personnel for the Governor’s security and made it clear that protests against him would not stop with the arrival of the central force.

Also Read: Kerala CM Vijayan slams Governor Khan for his roadside ‘protest’

Protests to continue

LDF convenor EP Jayarajan and CPI(M) central committee member TM Thomas Isaac also came down heavily upon the Governor and the Union government over the deployment of the CRPF in the wake of the agitations.

While Jayarajan termed the deployment of the central force for the Governor’s security as a ‘violation’ of federal principles, Isaac said protests would continue whichever force came to the state.

“These all are just ridiculous dramas… Has anything happened to the Governor’s security so far? The protest took place…but it will continue even if the CRPF personnel are deployed,” Isaac said.

Asked whether the state government would urge the Union government to recall the Governor, the former finance minister said a political decision should be evolved on the matter.

Govindan also said there would be no particular advantage if Khan was recalled as the Union government would surely replace him with a similar person.

Also Read: SFI state president, members booked for burning Governor Khan in effigy

Congress criticises government, Governor

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and MP K Muraleedharan criticised both Governor Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the developments.

“As a state head, the Governor should show more maturity while dealing with issues. The stand of the CM who sends people to show black flags (against the Governor) is also wrong,” he said

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said how Governor Khan sat on the roadside demanding police action against SFI protestors was never before seen from any person in authority and was against security protocols.

Vijayan said that what Khan did was not right and even he knew that.

The chief minister further said that Khan’s actions of “protesting” to ensure police action against the activists of the SFI as per his wishes was something no one in authority had ever done.

“The Governor has been repeatedly taking a stand which is different from the consistently followed democratic principles in the country,” Vijayan said on Saturday while responding to several queries from reporters about what transpired during the day.

Vijayan further said that one should understand that no position of authority was above the law.

“All positions of authority are below the law. The law is supreme. Unfortunately, what we saw today was the non-realisation of the same. In such matters, it is important to show wisdom.

“However, that is something that is not taught in schools and developed through experience. What I feel is that he (Khan) has not developed that in all these years of his life,” the chief minister said.

Also Read: Kerala Governor cuts short policy speech

Governor’s protest

Khan staged a sudden roadside protest against black-flag-waving SFI protesters and the Kerala Police in Kollam on Saturday.

He was heading to Kottarakkara to attend the centenary celebrations of an ashram when SFI activists waved black flags at his motorcade around 11 am near the busy Nilamel junction in Kollam, some 40 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

After instructing the driver to stop the car, the 72-year-old Governor alighted from the vehicle, and moved towards the student protesters, shouting “aao” (come) in Hindi.

The police and the Governor’s security detail formed a human wall, before removing the protesters.

The Governor borrowed a chair from a roadside restaurant and sat there for about two hours, claiming that the police had failed to prevent the protesters from hitting his vehicle.

He instructed his staff to report the developments to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union home minister.

Khan left the place only after the police showed him a copy of the FIR lodged against 17 SFI activists under non-bailable provisions of the law.

In the wake of the developments, the Union government on Saturday extended Z+ security cover to Khan.

(With PTI inputs)