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Kerala News
Kerala CM will take notice of what Saji Cheriyan said, I have not sought any report: Governor
 
Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 5 (PTI) Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday said he has not sought any report from the state government regarding the harsh remarks against the Constitution by Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan, but was sure the head of the ruling dispensation in the state would take notice of the same.

Leaving the ball in the Kerala CM’s court, the Governor said he cannot comment upon the issue as he did not have all the details, but he was aware that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought an explanation from the minister.

“I do not know the details, so I am not in a position to comment. I am sure the leader of the government will take notice of that and then I will also be informed accordingly. I came to know about it only a few hours back,” Khan said, answering reporters’ queries on the issue and his stand on the same.

“Then, I came to know the CM has asked for an explanation. So, it is not right to say I have sought any report. So far I have not,” he said.

The Governor said there was an elected government in the state and everybody had taken an oath of being faithful to the Constitution which was not an exercise in semantics, rather an expression of national faith.

“We all as citizens of India have a duty to uphold the Constitution and the law and those who are charged with the special responsibility — those holding elected offices — they take an oath before they enter the office.

“They take the oath to uphold the Constitution and the law and I hope with all sincerity that everyone will be conscious of one’s responsibility,” he added.

Khan also said that he was “keeping a watch” on what was being reported in the news media regarding the issue and he was sure and confident everyone will be faithful to the oath they have taken.

On whether any request has been made by his office to the government for footage of Cheriyan’s speech in which harsh remarks were made against the Constitution, Khan said he was not aware of the same.

Cheriyan’s remarks against the Constitution have resulted in protests by BJP and Congress in various parts of the state demanding his resignation. Effigies of the minister were also burnt.

Both Congress and BJP have also sent complaints to the Governor’s office seeking his intervention in the matter and alleging that the minister’s remarks were unconstitutional.

Both parties have sought that the minister be expelled by the Governor.

Congress also urged the Governor to strip Cheriyan off his MLA position as well. The party has also lodged a police complaint in Pathanamthitta seeking appropriate legal action against the minister under the Prevention of Insults to the National Honour Act.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said Cheriyan’s remarks were not a slip of the tongue as that is something which happens once.

In the instant matter, the harsh remarks against the Constitution were repeated several times, the Union Minister said and added that such a person was not eligible to be a minister and if he does not resign, his resignation should be demanded by the Kerala CM.

Muraleedharan also claimed that Cheriyan only expressed regret and did not apologise.

In the visuals aired by the local TV channels, the Kerala minister could be seen saying in a recent event that the Constitution of the country “condones exploitation” and is written in a way helping to “plunder” the people of the country.

In a statement given in the state Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, Cheriyan said news reports claiming he had criticised the Constitution at an event held at Mallappally in Pathanamthitta district were “distorted”.

“I am a public servant who respects our Constitution and upholds its noble values…I have never once intended to insult the Constitution or say anything against it,” he said.


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