No End in Sight to Political Deadlock in Kerala

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM — Fight between Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues unabated with none willing to exercise any restraint.

What began as a spar between two seasoned veterans, grew into a full blown battle after Khan, on Wednesday, wrote to Vijayan saying he is withdrawing his “pleasure” that he had on State Finance Minister K.N.Balagopal, over his harsh words against the former at a meeting.

Vijayan instantly replied that since Balagopal’s speech contained nothing that showed any disrespect to the head of the state, it can be left like that.

Also, as the ruling CPI-M has called for a statewide protest with one lakh of their cadres expected to arrive before Khan’s official residence on November 15, the state BJP has warned the Left against doing anything “foolish”, saying they should not forget that Vijayan’s house is only a stone’s throw away from that of Khan’s.

Following the withdrawal of the “pleasure” of Khan, clearly implying that Balagopal has to go, the police have tightened security near his residence. The CPI-M has expressed apprehension that the BJP cadres might attack Khan’s residence but the blame will fall on the CPI-M.

Currently, the focus has shifted to the national capital as both Khan and Vijayan are away in the north and all eyes are on Vijayan who is attending the two-day Chintan Shivir (reflection camp) of all state Home Ministers called by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah which begins in Haryana on Thursday.

Vijayan, who generally keeps away from such meetings, is however, attending it and it remains to be seen if he raises the issue of federalism and if he does, then it can be assumed that he has decided to intensify the fight with Khan.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Khan, while in Delhi, is expected to solicit advice on how to deal with the November 15 protests and is mulling calling for Central forces to take over his security and also at the Universities.

So all in all, with neither of them willing to show any restraint in their way forward, this case could well become a benchmark one when it comes before the judiciary. — IANS

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