Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday declined the state government’s invitation to promote the latter’s anti-drug campaign. The development comes amid a war of words between Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over a slew of issues including the alleged nepotism plaguing the state’s varsities.
Both had teared into each other these past couple of days, criticising the manner either runs their office. While Khan labelled Vijayan as a willing spectator to the many illegalities going on in the state, the chief minister dubbed the Governor a tool of the RSS. Excise Minister MB Rajesh and Kerala Chief Secretary VP Joy had recently met Khan at Raj Bhavan to invite him to inaugurate the closing ceremony of the month-long anti-drug campaign but did not get a favourable response. In fact, Khan had expressed his disappointment at not having been invited to the state’s Onam festival celebrations.
Earlier this week, Vijayan said the state will plan a month-long intensive campaign against drugs on October 2. He also urged public participation in the campaign to quell one of the worst plagues in society today – drug addiction. Prominent figures from various cultural fields including cinema and sports will be roped in to promote the campaign and to exhort youngsters against using drugs, CM Vijayan had said. Public vigils will also be organised at key places, especially railway stations, bus stands, parks and clubs.
A committee has been formed at the state level to tackle the drug problem in Kerala. The chief minister also urged the setting up of similar committees at all levels, including schools. He had also warned shops against selling intoxicants near school premises. The campaign gets over on November 2.