Kerala Opposition leader V.D. Satheesan tears into BJP for portraying him as favouring Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

The Sangh Parivar and the BJP were stoking communal divisions and resorting to political assassinations to clamber back to political relevance. The SDPI played second fiddle to the BJP to divide the State into religious lines to reap political dividends, alleges V. D. Satheesan

Leader of the Opposition V. D. Satheesan on Monday took exception to the BJP interpretation that his criticism of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was tantamount to supporting the State government.

Mr. Satheesan said he had criticised Mr. Khan for endorsing the government’s “unlawful” decision to extend the term of the Kannur University vice-chancellor beyond the retirement age. The Governor approved the extension initially and then backtracked.

“Mr. Khan supported an incorrect decision and then complained it was wrong. As chancellor, he should annul the erroneous decision and seek the Vice Chancellor’s resignation. Or else, he should eject the Vice Chancellor from his post,” said Mr. Satheesan.

The Governor has not done both. Instead, he has discontinued executing his duties as chancellor. “I have said this position is wrong and illegal. Mr. Khan was constitutionally and legally bound to discharge his duties as chancellor. He has no choice in the matter,” said Mr. Satheesan.

Union Minister of State V. Muraleedharan and BJP State president K. Surendran had accused the Opposition leader of echoing the position of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the varsity appointment row.

“These two leaders had run the BJP to ruin in Kerala. The party (the BJP) had lost its political relevance and space in the public domain due to their leadership,” said Mr. Satheesan.

Political dividends

The Sangh Parivar and the BJP were stoking communal divisions and resorting to political assassinations to clamber back to political relevance. The SDPI played second fiddle to the BJP to divide the State into religious lines to reap political dividends, he alleged.

Mr. Muraleedharan preached “Pinarayi hatred” during the day. At night, he secretly parleyed with Mr. Vijayan to let BJP leaders facing investigation in various cases off the hook. In reciprocation, the BJP has ensured that the UAE gold smuggling investigation into the political executive’s alleged role in the racket reached a dead end.

Mr. Satheesan said the “media analysis” that he and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala were not on the same page regarding the university appointment and proposal to award DLitt to the President was patently “laughable and wrong.”

Mr. Chennithala had raised several relevant questions. “We have not refuted each other. Of course, two persons cannot speak in the same voice,” added Mr. Satheesan.

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