Governor expresses reservation but reads out anti-CAA portion in Budget address to honour Kerala CM's wish

ANI Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India Jan 29, 2020, 11.55 AM(IST)

Kerala Assembly Photograph:( ANI )

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"Although I hold the view that this doesn't come under the definition of policy or program. The CM has himself said in his letter that this is the view of government."

 

Addressing the budget session of the Kerala Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan read out a portion against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in his policy address stating that he was doing so to "honour the wish" of chief minister Pinrayi Vijayan.

Khan said although he disagreed with the state government over its resolution requesting the Centre to abrogate the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, he would still read out the 18th paragraph, the portion regarding the CAA, in his policy speech only to "honour the wish of Chief Minister" Pinarayi Vijayan.

"Now I come to Para 18, I have been corresponding with the honourable chief minister for the last few days, I have my reservations because in my view...I am going to read it, I am going to read this Para because the Honorable CM wants me to read this," said Khan giving the Governor's customary policy speech in the House on the opening day of the Budget Session.

"Although I hold the view that this doesn't come under the definition of policy or program. The CM has himself said in his letter that this is the view of government. I disagree, but to honour his wish I am going to read this para," he added.

Further, he read the para, "Our citizenship can never be on the basis of religion. The august house has passed a resolution requesting the central government to abrogate the CAA which my government believes goes against cardinal principles and line of our constitution....."

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Before his address to the House, the Assembly witnessed high voltage drama with Opposition MLAs chanting "go back governor" and displaying anti-CAA posters and banners against Khan as soon as he arrived in the House for his address.

MLAs of the United Democratic Front (UDF) displayed placards and raised slogans while blocking the governor's path and House marshals had to rush to escort the governor to his podium.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan had accompanied Khan into the House when Congress-led UDF MLAs blocked Khan's way as he arrived in the House.

Only after he was escorted to his chair by Assembly marshals could the Governor begin his address. Several MLAs staged a walkout in protest as soon as he began his address. MLAs were protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state assembly.

Congress and Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had on Monday accused the Governor Arif Mohammad Khan of acting as an agent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He further alleged that Khan was acting against the dignity of the state assembly.