Face-off continues between Kerala Governor Khan and CM Vijayan, ignore each other at oath-taking

| Updated: 01 January, 2024 1:55 pm IST

Thiruvananthapuram : After both Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan avoided handshakes and even eye contact during a function at Raj Bhavan, signalled an unending face-off between the two.

This development comes at a time when both have been embroiled in a long round of confrontation over the appointments row in universities, and a plethora of other issues.

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The occasion was the swearing-in of two ministers in the LDF Government. If Governor Arif Mohammed Khan behaved like a disinterested child refusing even to acknowledge CM Vijayan, the latter responded with equal aloofness. As if not enough, the CM and the majority of his cabinet also decided to boycott the tea party hosted by the Khan.

With the governor accepting December 29 as the date proposed by the CM for the swearing-in of two new cabinet members, Ramachandran Kadannappalli and KB Ganesh Kumar, there was hope of a thaw in the relationship between the two. However, that was not to be.

While the CM sat in the front row with other cabinet colleagues, after wishing the newly designated ministers Kadannappalli and Kumar, the governor arrived from his residence at the Raj Bhavan to the specially prepared venue a few minutes later. The Chief minister followed the governor and sat next to him. Though Vijayan kept his cool and looked rather relaxed, he too refused to acknowledge the other. The two did not utter a word to each other through the function.

After congratulating the new ministers, the CM and cabinet colleagues left without participating in the tea party organised by the governor.

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However, government sources later clarified that the Chief Minister and the council ministers did not boycott the customary tea-party. They said that it was due to an inconvenience that they left the governor’s house.

“The incident that took place at the Raj Bhavan during the oath-taking ceremony was extremely unfortunate. However, it was moreover expected in the current scenario where Governor Khan has been very critical of the ruling government in Kerala on a number of issues”, said Avinash Mohan, a political activist based in Kozhikode.

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Meanwhile, Kerala has filed a revised plea in the Supreme Court seeking a directive to lay down guidelines under which the governor may reserve Bills presented to them for the consideration of the President.

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