Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], December 24 (ANI): Hitting back at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, in a detailed letter said that he did not refuse to accede to the request for convening the special assembly session, but 'raised some questions' and instead of replying to it, the Chief Minister 'chose to bring in extraneous issues'.
In a reply to a letter by Kerala Chief Minister, the Kerala Governor said, "You will agree that as Chief Minister, it is your constitutional duty to keep the Governor fully informed about the decisions of the government and it is my right to be consulted and to counsel the government. But somehow you give information when I raise questions; otherwise, you take shelter behind vague terms, like in the current case, "to discuss some serious issues".
Further, Khan explained the scenario in which he sought clarification regarding convening a special assembly session in the state.
"Even in the current matter, I did not refuse to accede to your request. I merely raised some questions and hoped that you would respond with full information to satisfy me that some unforeseen things have happened and show what you propose to do to deal with this unexpected situation. But instead of replying to my questions, you have chosen to bring in extraneous issues which I had not raised at any stage," he said in the letter.
Asserting that, he did not expect such a letter from Chief Minister, the Governor began his letter by saying, " In your letter, you have made several assertions about subjects which I had never raised in my queries regarding your proposal to summon an emergent session of the Assembly on 23.12.20. But these assertions lack connectivity with the background contained in the relevant file. I feel it would have been appropriate had your letter come to me as part of the file concerned."
Detailing on the rules of procedure, Governor said, "I agree that as far as the question of summoning Assembly under rule 3(2) of Rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Kerala Legislative Assembly is concerned, Governor is bound by the decision of the Cabinet and in last more one year I have always acted accordingly in giving my approval to summon the sessions of the Assembly,"
"But when a recommendation is made to summon a session at short notice or emergently and in the present case at a notice of about 24 hours, that means a departure from the rule requiring 15 days' notice and invoking the proviso to rule 3, which is an exception to the rule, then it becomes the duty of the gubernatorial office to ensure that departure from rule does not result in a departure from the spirit of the rules of conduct of business," he said in the letter.
Quoting the letter from Kerala Chief Minister, Governor said, "In response to my query dated 21.12.2020, you said: "The State Cabinet has recommended convening a special session of the Legislative Assembly on December 23, 2020, to discuss serious issues in the agricultural sector and the problems faced by the farming community which are matters of general public interest"."
"Your response created an impression in my mind that you are referring to some unforeseen problems of agricultural sector and farming community of Kerala and therefore, I wrote back, "It was in response to this note that you opened up partially and admitted that the important issue that you referred to as "the ongoing protest by farmers" around Delhi and it became clear that you wanted this special Session to discuss a problem for which you have no jurisdiction to offer any solution."
Furthermore, Khan said, "Your response you did not address the question relating to the nature of emergency which necessitated to summon an emergent session of the Assembly."
"As far as the farmers' protest is concerned, it is going on in Punjab, Haryana and some parts of UP since June 2020 and even the protest Dharna in Delhi is now almost a month old. What I wanted to know specifically was "what happened between December 17, 2020, when you had decided to summon the session on 8 January 2021, the decision that was approved by me and 21 December 2020 when you decided to withdraw the earlier decision and sent a fresh proposal to summon the emergent session of the Assembly on 23.12.2020". However, you chose to ignore my queries and have not explained the factors that gave rise to an emergency like situation till date," he said.
The governor on the concluding part of the letter quoted from Bhagavad Gita. "Last year, when I had come to address the Assembly, I had told you that "I know that you are a Communist and I am a believer who does not subscribe to the idea of organised religion, but I regard Scriptures as 'Storehouse of Wisdom". That day I had quoted a Shloka from Gita that says "One's own duty though defective, is superior to another's duty well-performed. Death is better while engaged in one's own duty; another's duty is fraught with fear." (ANI)