Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan on Tuesday refused permission to convene a special session of the state assembly on Wednesday. The state government planned to discuss and pass resolutions against the three new central agricultural laws in this special session. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed Khan’s decision stating that his action was “against the Constitution” and “Governor has no power to reject the recommendation of the government having a clear majority in the assembly”.
It is to be noted that the Kerala government had demanded a special session of the Legislative Assembly on the central farm bill, which has been rejected by the Governor. The Governor’s move is considered to be unpredictable as he has questioned the government’s urgency to convene a session and sought a clarification from the Chief Minister.
According to sources, the Kerala government wants to discuss the new agricultural laws, for which it prepared a proposal for a special assembly session on December 23 and sent it to the governor. This proposal of the government was rejected by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. The Governor said that there is no need to call a special session. If the government has a solid reason, make it available. Due to which the Kerala government has suffered a major setback.
The state government is fuming over the Governor’s decision. While Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar called it undemocratic, the opposition Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that it is unfortunate and against democratic values. While the state BJP welcomed the Governor’s decision saying that the attempt to pass a resolution against laws passed by Parliament and approved by the President is completely unconstitutional. Assembly Speaker P. Sriramakrishnan said that the Governor’s decision is unprecedented and after considering all the legal aspects, the state government can take a decision.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written in a letter to the Governor that the rejection of the recommendation of the state cabinet to call a special session is anti-constitutional. The governor has no right not to accept the recommendation of the government with an absolute majority in the assembly. Vijayan said that the Governor has no right of discretion about calling a session of the Legislative Assembly. The subject of discussing and presenting the proposal cannot be decided by the Governor.
On the other hand, senior BJP leader and Union Minister V Muralitharan has welcomed the Governor’s decision. He said that the state assembly cannot be used as a cheap political stunt. The Left Front government of the state wanted to work against the constitution which was stopped.
Like the Chief Minister, opposition Congress leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said that the decision not to call a special session is undemocratic and condemnable. The decision not to call a session is an attempt to suppress the public voice. Meanwhile, Youth Congress activists protested in the capital Thiruvananthapuram against the Governor’s decision. The farmers’ protest against the three agricultural laws of the Modi government continues as most opposition parties are opposing the bill. At the same time, in states where BJP does not have a government, a special session of the assembly is being called and discussion against this bill is being done.