CM Pinarayi Vijayan trying his hand at the newly installed smart screen as part of the e-niyamasabha programme during the 18th session of the 14th Kerala Assembly. (Photo| BP Deepu, EPS)
By Express News Service
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “Now I come to Para 18. I have been corresponding with the chief minister for the past few days.” It was how Governor Arif Mohammed Khan began his remarks on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) portion in the policy speech. Governor Khan on Wednesday took the government and the opposition by surprise, with his unexpected move to read out the anti-CAA remarks in the policy address.
In fact, the correspondence with the chief minister in this regard has been going on for long and lasted till Wednesday morning, when the governor came across a short note from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in response to the governor’s letter on Tuesday in which he said he would use his discretionary powers.
In his letter, the chief minister pointed out that clarification has already been given on the points raised by the governor. Pinarayi referred to Article 176 of the Constitution. The concerns of the state government have to be articulated in the address by the governor in the Legislative Assembly.
Since the constitutional function under Article 176 is exercised with the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, the address approved by the Council of Ministers be read in its entirety sans any additions or deletions, requested the chief minister.
The governor had the option of not reading out the entire text as done in the past by some of the previous governors like P Sathasivam in 2018. However, Khan chose to read out the entire text including the remarks which were critical of the Union government.
Concerns on slowdown
In the 15th para, the policy address stated that the state government has genuine apprehensions about the national economic slowdown adversely affecting the states. “The budget expectations were that Kerala would have access to public borrowing of around Rs 10,000 crore during the last quarter. However, permission granted was only for Rs 1,900 crore,” he said.
Governor has to articulate government’s concerns in address: CM
In his letter, the chief minister pointed out that clarification was already given on the points raised by the governor. The concerns of the state government have to be articulated in the address by the governor in the Legislative Assembly, he said.
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