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Guv Khan's 'unplanned' walk has assured the country about safety in Kerala: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kollam (Kerala): A day after the Kerala Governor took an unexpected stroll through a busy street in Kozhikode, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a swipe at him on Tuesday, saying Arif Mohammed Khan might have been convinced that law and order situation in the southern state was secure.

Addressing the media as part of the ongoing Nava Kerala Sadas, an outreach programme of the state government, Vijayan also flayed the governor for walking down the crowded SM Street in Kozhikode without prior intimation and rejecting police security upon arrival.

Expressing disapproval of the actions of the Governor, the CM said it is inappropriate for persons holding prominent positions to conduct themselves in a way that goes against established protocols.

“It is improper for people in high positions to behave in such a manner, violating protocols,” the CM said and added that the Kerala police will continue to provide Khan with Z-Plus security even though the governor claimed that he had written to the state police chief not to provide him protection.

“Now the governor might have been convinced that the law and order situation in Kerala was secure. With this, he also convinced the country about the safety in Kerala. Is there any other state in India where someone in his position can walk around like this?,” the CM added.

Taking a dig at the governor, Vijayan asked who had criticised police and the state government amidst an ongoing fight between the Left administration and Raj Bhavan on various issues.

Vijayan also threw his weight behind the activists of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) who are on a path of protest against the governor for his actions as Chancellor of universities in the state. The Chief Minister accused the governor of ‘labelling’ the protesting students, who, according to him, are the future of this country, as criminals and goondas because they questioned Khan’s actions as Chancellor, in a democratic manner.

Amidst the ongoing row between the ruling Left and the Governor, the state witnessed dramatic scenes on Monday when Khan visited the busy S M Street market area, also known as the ‘mittai theruvu’ famous for sweets, in Kozhikode city.

Khan had interacted with people of all ages, including schoolchildren, in and around the crowded market area for a couple of hours, posed for photographs with them, thanked everyone for their love and affection, and then returned to his guest house at the Calicut University in Malappuram district, where SFI activists were gathered in hundreds with black balloons, banners, and placards demanding that he go back.

(Published 19 December 2023, 10:42 IST)

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