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Kerala CM lashes out at Governor over issues related to VCs

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Palakkad: Lashing out at Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday alleged that Khan’s direction to Vice Chancellors of nine Universities to tender their resignations is unconstitutional and undemocratic.

Alleging that the Khan’s move to destabilise the varsitities will ruin the education in the State, the Chief Minister said the Governor was unnecessary involved in matters that do not concern him.

Addressing a press conference at the KSEB Guest House here, the Chief Minister said Khan was acting on the behest of BJP and RSS functionaries.

The Chief Minister was responding to the Governor’s letters to the VCs of nine Universities to resign from their posts by 1130 am on October 24.

On Sunday, the the Governor tweeted that “Letters directing Vice Chancellors of nine Universities of Kerala to tender their resignation by 1130 a.m on 24 October 2022, have been issued. Letter also emailed to VCs and Registrars of varsities concerned.”

“Upholding the verdict of Hon’ble Supreme Court dt 21.10.22 in Civil Appeal Nos.7634-7635 of 2022(@ SLP(c) Nos.21108-21109 of 2021) Hon’ble Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan has directed Vice Chancellors of 9 varsities in Kerala(see image) to tender resignation,” the Raj Bhavan tweeted.

On October 21, the Supreme Court has annulled the appointment of MS Rajashree as the vice-chancellor of the Technological University for violating UGC norms. Following which, Khan also directed the 9 VCs to resign from their posts citing violation of norms.

However, the Chief Minister claimed that the SC order on the Technical University issue cannot be applied on other Universities. If there are any violations of the UGC norms for the appointments of the VCs, the Governor is totally responsible for it, he added.

Extending support to the VCs, the Chief Minister said a VC can be removed only for misuse of funds. Saying that the Governor’s decision does not befit the post he holds, he said the Chancellor has no right to ask the resignation of the VC’s on the basis of a SC verdict on another case.

Meanwhile, the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Sunday directed the VCs to defy the Governor’s direction.

Earlier, a top level meeting of CPI(M) has decided to stage a massive protest against Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on November 15.

Senior CPI(M) leaders will attend the Raj Bhavan rally, Party State Secretary MV Govindan told newspersons here.

The protest against the Raj Bhavan will be the biggest in the history of Kerala, CPI State Secretary Kanam Rajendran said.

The CPI(M) decided to create massive protest against the Governor after he threatened to ‘withdraw his pleasure’ in the council of ministers following their criticism on the functioning of the Raj Bhavan.

Earlier, in an extraordinary move in connection with the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor to the Kerala University, the Governor issued an order sacking 15 senate members of the University.

The Governor, who is also the chancellor of the University, directed Kerala University Vice Chancellor VP Mahadevan Pillai to remove the senate members for their absence at a recent meeting held on October 11 to nominate a member on the search committee.

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