Tensions Escalate in Kerala as Governor Arif Mohammed Khan Accuses Chief Minister of Orchestrating Attack
On Monday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of orchestrating an attack on him. The Governor alleges a conspiracy for physical harm, pointing fingers at the ruling CPI(M)’s student wing, Students Federation of India (SFI). The incident has sparked a political storm, with opposition parties and the Governor himself leveling serious accusations against the Chief Minister.
The Accusation made by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan
Governor Khan, visibly angered, claimed that CM Vijayan conspired to send people to physically harm him. He detailed that his vehicle was surrounded, protesters allegedly directed by the CM waved black flags, and his vehicle was hit. Khan boldly asserted, “So, it is the CM, I am saying it clearly, who is conspiring and sending these people to hurt me physically. The ‘goondas’ have taken charge of the roads of Thiruvananthapuram.”
However, the police version contradicts this account. The police stated that the Governor’s vehicle was blocked by SFI activists only in one place, and seven people from the student outfit have been arrested. This disparity in narratives adds complexity to an already contentious situation.
Sequence of Events
Black flags were reportedly waved at Khan at three different locations, and on two occasions, his car was hit by the protesters. The Governor insists that the Chief Minister was behind the attack, orchestrating a direct assault on him.
The Congress, UDF opposition, and BJP have joined hands in accusing CM Vijayan of being behind the alleged attack. They point to a breakdown of law and order in the state. Opposition leader VD Satheesan termed it a historic first in the state’s history and raised concerns about potential attempt to murder charges against SFI activists. The Congress has demanded stern action against police officers allegedly involved in the incident.
BJP state chief K Surendran went a step further, claiming that the incident occurred with police connivance, indicating a breakdown of law and order in the state. He alleged that the Left party resorted to attacking the Governor due to recent Supreme Court verdicts, reflecting the deep-seated political tensions in Kerala.
Background and Context
This incident is not isolated but part of an ongoing tussle between Governor Khan and the state government, particularly CM Vijayan, over decision-making on pending bills passed in the assembly. The strained relationship between the Governor and the government has contributed to an environment of heightened political sensitivity.
According to a source from Raj Bhavan, black flags were waved at Governor Khan at three locations, and on two occasions, his car was reportedly hit by the protesters. Police, however, contested this account, stating that the Governor’s vehicle was blocked by SFI activists only in one place, leading to the arrest of seven individuals associated with the student outfit.
The recent attack comes on the heels of a similar incident on Sunday when SFI activists waved black flags at the Governor near Vazhuthacaud. Khan was en route to an event organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Implications and Way Forward
The accusations and counter-accusations between the Governor and the Chief Minister have escalated tensions in Kerala’s political landscape. The incident raises questions about the rule of law, political civility, and the ability of different branches of government to function harmoniously.
The coming days are crucial as investigations unfold, and the political fallout becomes clearer. The incident has the potential to reshape political alliances, impact public perception, and may even have legal repercussions depending on the outcome of investigations.
As the nation watches, the Kerala Governor’s accusations against the Chief Minister underscore the delicate balance of power and the complexities inherent in India’s federal structure.