In First, Kerala Opposition Leader Wants Governor Recalled Over CAA

Last week Kerala became the first state to move the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA, opening another front in the war of words with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

In First, Kerala Opposition Leader Wants Governor Recalled Over CAA

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan is at odds with state government over the CAA (File)

Thiruvananthapuram:

Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, Ramesh Chennithala, has sought permission from Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan to introduce a resolution asking President Ram Nath Kovind to recall Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. The resolution, according to the Opposition leader, comes after Mr Khan's repeated criticism of the Assembly's resolution against the citizenship law - a resolution he has described as "unconstitutional and illegal".

"If the Governor had an issue with the resolution that was passed in the Assembly, he should have informed the Speaker. Publically questioning the legislature's rights or ridiculing the Assembly cannot be justified," Mr Chennithala told reporters in Kochi.

This is the first time such a notice has been given to the Kerala Speaker.

Mr Khan was sharp in his dismissal of the notice, declaring it did not "deserve comment".

"I don't think this kind of thing deserves any comment. Before opening my mouth, I read the Constitution and (study the) law to be aware of role and duties conferred upon me," he was quoted by news agency ANI.

In an earlier response to the increasing tension between Mr Khan and the Kerala Assembly, a tweet from the Governor's official account referred to rule 119(d) of the Rules and Procedure of the Kerala Assembly, which he said "clearly states the Assembly shall not discuss any matter which is not the concern of the State Government".

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Protests against the citizenship law have been widespread

Last week Kerala became the first state to move the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA. The decision opened another front in the war with the Governor, who hit back by demanding a report and said it was "improper" of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's government to approach the top court without informing him.

The court heard the petition, and more than a hundred others like it, earlier this week but refused to order a stay on the citizenship law without hearing the centre's response.

Earlier this month Kerala also became the first state to pass a resolution against the citizenship law. Moved by the Chief Minister, the resolution was supported by politicians across the spectrum, with the exception of the lone BJP MLA in the Assembly - O Rajagopal.

The Governor had slammed the resolution as unconstitutional and insignificant.

The CAA makes, for the first time, religion the test of citizenship. The government says it will help non-Muslim refugees fleeing religious persecution from three neighbouring Muslim-dominated states become Indian citizens. Critics say it discriminates against Muslims and violates secular principles of the Constitution.

Critics also fear the CAA, along with the proposed NRC (national register of citizens) and NPR (national population register) exercises, will further discriminate against Muslims.

Kerala has already put on hold all administrative activities relating to the NPR and NRC. The state has joined several non-BJP governments in refusing to carry out NRC in an attempt to stave off the enforcement of the citizenship law.

With input from ANI

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