Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan
File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: Governor Arif Mohammad Khan jolted the Pinarayi Vijayan government by refusing to convene a special assembly session on Wednesday to pass a resolution against the Centre’s new farm laws for the same reasons that the farmers are agitating on the borders of Delhi.

The Vijayan cabinet had earlier recommended convening of the one-day special session to pass such a resolution on the ground that the new laws hurt the interests of the state’s farmers. The opposition parties had also expressed their willingness to support the resolution.

The special session would, therefore, have resulted in a unanimous resolution, but for the opposition by the lone BJP member, P Rajagopal. The BJP considers the move politically motivated.

The governor returned the request calling for more details about the business to be transacted at the special session, which prompted the government to submit a second report and the government went ahead with the plan as it assumed that the governor’s consent was on its way.

But to the surprise of both the government and the opposition, Arif Khan rejected the second plea as well, and asked for further clarifications. And this would mean that the planned Wednesday event will not take place.

Opposition Congress criticised the governor’s action, with deputy legislative party leader K C Joseph, calling it as violation of Constitution by Khan, who he said was furthering the interest of the ruling party at the Centre.

The CPI-M has not yet responded to the development. The chief minister is not in the capital as he has launched his state-wide public interaction drive, seen as the official launch of the campaign for the next assembly election.

The Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier indicated that it would move the Supreme Court against the new farm laws in the same way as it had done in the case of the new citizenship laws.

The Kerala assembly had similarly passed a resolution against the citizenship laws while simultaneously moving ahead with the legal procedure. Several states under opposition rule had followed suit and passed such resolutions against the citizenship laws, which were believed to be aimed at the minorities.

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