“Acting as RSS tool”: Kerala CM on governor for ordering VCs of 9 universities to resign

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday slammed the state governor Arif Mohammed Khan for asking the vice chancellors of nine varsities in the state to tender their resignation.

While talking to the reporters, Vijayan said Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was “acting as a tool of the RSS” and misusing his powers.

“Governor is misusing Chancellor post to exercise more powers than he holds. It’s undemocratic and an encroachment on VCs’ powers. Governor post is not to move against govt, but to uphold constitution’s dignity. He’s acting as a tool of RSS,” Vijayan said.

Earlier, the ruling CPI(M) termed the Governor’s move as an ‘attempt to appoint RSS members’ at the helm of varsities.

Notably, in an official notification yesterday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan directed Vice Chancellors of 9 varsities in Kerala to tender resignation. The Raj Bhavan PRO noted that the order was issued while upholding the verdict of the Supreme Court . Governor Khan is also the Chancellor of Universities in the state.

The nine universities are University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries & Ocean studies, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut, and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University.

The announcement comes hours after the ruling LDF announced a series of demonstrations in November against the governor.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government viewed it as Raj Bhavan’s attempt to impose the RSS Hindu majoritarian agenda on Kerala’s storied higher education sector.

“The Governor proceeds by declaring that he is an RSS supporter. The governor’s intervention in the university issue is autocratic. Senate members were withdrawn to bring in RSS members. The Governor’s attempt is to control the higher education sector. The aim is to build resistance against this”, said the chief ruling party CPI(M) in Kerala, MV Govindan.

Kannur University Vice Chancellor and prominent historian Gopinath Ravindran has said that he will not submit his resignation.

“I got the letter in the evening. He has been told to resign on Monday by 11.30 a.m. But now I am not resigning. If the decision is to remove me, then fire me, I will not resign,” Dr. Ravindran told media.