Bringing in more controversy into an already convoluted matter, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has said that he would not send the resolution passed by the state assembly against the three farm laws to the Centre. Following this, Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar said that if it is a technical issue then the government is more than willing to help. While attending a gathering at Neyyatinkara, the Governor said that nobody had asked him to send the resolution to the Centre. This marks Governor’s intolerance towards the federal system.
“If he [Arif Mohammed Khan] isn’t sending the resolution because we haven’t asked him, then we would do what is necessary,” said Sunil Kumar at a press meet. He added that these are part of the Governor’s duties as well. “The resolution shouldn’t be sent to the Centre just because the government didn’t ask the Governor to do so. It is a normal procedure,” he stated.
Despite the Governor’s challenge, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the government have remained largely silent on the matter. The left front had been facing flak from the opposition as well as political experts for not having made a stronger stand against the Governor and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On December 31 special assembly session, Congress leaders had asked Pinarayi to include a strongly worded criticism against Modi, but the CM refused to LDF refused to do so. Moreover, the opposition also asked the ruling party to criticise the Governor openly, but the left did not do so. The ruling front had faced flak for having a soft approach in dealing with the Governor, despite the latter having thrown roadblocks after roadblocks when they requested for a special assembly session.
In Congress ruling Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had publicly challenged Governor VP Singh Badnore’s stand. The latter, similar to his Kerala counterpart, did not send the resolution passed by the Assembly against the Centre’s farm bills to the President. CM Singh challenged him, asking Badnore to dissolve the Punjab government and impose Presidential rule if he had the courage.
On October 20, the resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly was handed over to the Governor by Amarinder Singh. After coming out of the Raj Bhavan, he said, “The sentiments and voices of Punjab’s people have reached the Governor. I am not afraid of the imposition of President's rule. Moreover, if needed, you can dismiss my government. I have no issue.” The Punjab Chief Minister further added that he is not confused by power. He said that he and his government stand for the farmers of the country and the state.
In a direct comparison, the left front in Kerala seems to be on the safer side playing with the tide so as not to shake their vote base down ahead of the assembly polls. This was especially evident in Pinarayi Vijayan’s speech, where he did not mention or criticise Narendra Modi for having pushed the three laws into the public domain, even though Vijayan condemned the Centre for drafting a “corporate-friendly farm law”. It seems to be a direct contradiction to their claims of being the only party that can take on BJP in Kerala.