Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday dismissed allegations of political interference in appointing vice chancellors to universities are baseless. The CM, while speaking at a press conference held at Kannur, said he was clarifying the government position in view of the things said by the Governor in public.
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of universities, sent a letter to CM Vijayan on December 10 urging him to amend the Acts of the Universities to enable him assume the position of the Chancellor. In a strongly worded letter, the Governor informed Vijayan that the former was ready to sign immediately if the latter brings an ordinance to amend the Acts empowering the Chief Minister to become the Chancellor of universities.
Governor Khan said he requested the CM to take over as Chancellor of universities as he did not want to have a conflict with his government.
To this, CM Vijayan said today that the Governor himself signed the appointment order of Kannur vice chancellor. “After signing the order, making such a statement, we should doubt that there must have been some interference. The change in governor’s stand maybe due to pressure.”
The state government has never asked the Governor to do anything against his conscience and informing him about the government’s views was a natural communication at the administrative level. “It is up to the Chancellor (Governor) to make the appropriate decision based on them. The governor has that freedom,” the CM added.
CM Vijayan said that the government has not disrespected the governor either through words or actions. “That is not our culture.”
He further said that it is not factual to say all the appointments to the search and selection committee formed according to UGC guidelines are based on politics. “These committees suggest the names of those who can be considered as VCs. As chancellor, governor has all the freedom to express his opinion. The propaganda that CM and ministers decide this is not right,” the CM said.
With inputs from News18