Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan justifies withdrawing pleasure from state FM last year

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Friday justified withdrawing his pleasure from state Finance Minister K N Balagopal last year over his remarks on people from other states, and said withdrawal of pleasure does not mean his dismissal. Khan said he still strongly holds the view that if a person who has taken the oath to uphold the unity and integrity of India says publicly that those who hailing from a particular region of the country cannot have understanding of the education system of another state of the country, it is a violation of the oath.

“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 here.

He was responding to the queries of reporters regarding the incident in October last in the wake of the ongoing tussle between the Governor and the government in Tamil Nadu.

On Thursday, hours after dismissing minister V Senthil Balaji from the cabinet, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi later kept it in abeyance.

Asked about his withdrawal of pleasure in Balagopal last year, Khan said the goal of pleasure does not mean dismissal.

Balagopal, during a public speech, had reportedly said that those who come from places like Uttar Pradesh may find it tough to understand universities in Kerala. In the wake of his speech, Khan had written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informing him he has “ceased to enjoy pleasure” in Balagopal, accusing him of making a speech undermining unity, and urged the CM to take constitutionally appropriate action against his cabinet colleague, a demand turned down by the latter. The Chief Minister had shot back a letter to the Governor rejecting his demand for action against Balagopal.

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.

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