KOCHI : Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday barred journalists of Kairali TV and Media One TV channels from covering a press briefing in Kochin after inviting them.
Sidelining of a section of the media has come under fire from both the CPI-M and the Congress-led UDF.
Khan has been upset with Media One and said that they are settling scores with him over the Shah bano case by giving false news, while Kairali is a party channel.
He said the vice chancellor, whom he had appointed to take charge at the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University of Kerala, had to face law and order issues. There are threats against him also, but he is ready to face it, he added.
Taking on the Left parties for their proposed massive protest march before his official residence by the CPI-M on the 15th of this month, the Governor asked them not to wait till then.
Khan said he is willing to take part in a public debate over what’s happening in the state and asked Vijayan also to take part.
He is prepared to quit, he said if the state government comes out with evidence to prove that he is interfering in the governance. It’s the other way, he said, adding that the state government is interfering in the functioning of the Raj Bhavan.
“Anyone is free to raise a complaint against him or seek legal redress, if he has violated rules,” he asserted.
Turning his ire towards Vijayan, Khan said, he knows who Vijayan is as long ago, when a young IPS officer wielded a pistol, Vijayan had ran away.
Responding to the allegations, CPI-M state secretary M.V.Govindan accused the Governor of taking a position which in no way is “acceptable” and termed it “totally undemocratic”.
“A governor has to function in a fair manner with no discrimination and according to the Constitution. Here, the governor is violating everything and is creating tension. But the CPI-M is not going to budge as the people of Kerala are the final deciding authority and that’s what we will be doing,” said Govindan.
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said that a person occupying a Constitutional post should never resort to partisan ways of conduct.
“Avoiding a section of the media is a fascist style of functioning and undemocratic and in no way it’s acceptable as freedom of the press is of paramount importance,” said Satheesan.
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists too have strongly condemned Khan’s act announced to stage a protest before the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday. — IANS