Kerala people strongly rejected culture of violence: Governor Khan takes swipe at CPI(M)-led govt

NewsDrum Desk
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Kollam (Kerala), Jun 11 (PTI) Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who has long been at loggerheads with the Left government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan on various matters, said on Tuesday that the people of the state have strongly rejected the culture of violence.

He was reacting to a query by the media about his declining a state government request to inaugurate the public meeting of the three-day-long Loka Kerala Sabha, a common platform for Keralites worldwide, later this week.

Khan said he was not ready to attend the programme being organised by the "people who promote violence." Talking to reporters, Khan also "complimented" the people of the state "from the bottom of his heart", particularly the people of Kannur district, considered to be the stronghold of the ruling CPI(M), "for having said a resounding 'no' to the culture of violence, the culture of bomb-making." His statement comes in the wake of the Lok Sabha election results, which delivered a severe blow to the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, even in its bastions in the southern state. While the Congress-led UDF won 18 out of 20 seats in the April 26 polls and the BJP opened its account for the first time in history, the CPI(M) had to settle for just a single seat.

Without referring to the election results in his statement, Khan further said that "now the culture of violence has been strongly rejected by the people of Kerala." Khan referred to the protest against him by activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPI(M), at Nilamel in Kollam in January this year, the death of a veterinary student at a university in Wayanad, and the alleged suicide of a dance master tasked with judging an event at the Kerala University Youth Festival in March, to criticise the Left government.

He also spoke about bomb-making involving CPI(M) activists in Kannur district.

In an apparent reference to the recent inauguration of a martyr's memorial for two CPI(M) workers who died while making country bombs in Kannur district nine years ago, Khan said, "Can you ever imagine, you are trying to glorify people who make bombs?" Khan alleged that when he was "attacked" and his car was "damaged" in the state, a minister in the state government said that the people who had done so should be given a "warm handshake." "You want me to encourage them by going to their function. I shall not," Khan said, speaking about the Loka Kerala Sabha invitation by the state government.

The Governor said this was not the first time such an event taking place in the state and that he was not even informed about it on earlier occasions.

He said he was invited to the Loka Kerala Sabha only on June 10 for the programme being organised for June 13.

"Why have they come to me now? Why didn't they inform me earlier?" he asked.

The fourth Loka Kerala Sabha, aimed at cultural, socio-political, and economic integration of Malayalees residing outside the state, is scheduled to take place from June 13 to 15 at the Kerala Assembly complex. PTI TGB TGB ANE