Kochi: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan demanded reporters from two Malayalam news channels to leave the premises while speaking to the media on Monday morning. He asked the reporters of ‘Kairali News’ and ‘Media One’ to ‘get out’ because they ‘carry a campaign’ against him’, and he will not speak to ‘cadre media’.
‘I considered the media as very important. I have always responded to the media. But I am not now able to persuade myself to those that masquerade as media. There are actually members of the party here. So, if anybody is attending the press meeting, please leave. I would walk away if there are correspondents from Kairali and Media One’, he said.
Then, Khan resumed his attack on CPM accusing them of weakening public institutions in the state by appointing unqualified and inefficient cadre members to top posts. He also said those people who he has appointed should not criticise him. ‘Prime Minister appointed me. I have no right to criticise him. Likewise, those who I have appointed should not question me’, he said.
On October 24, Raj Bhavan similarly had barred four television channels, including Kairali News and Media One, from attending a press conference, prompting political parties and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) to hold a protest. However, Khan later tweeted that he didn’t ban ‘any channel from press meet’ and said it was just a misunderstanding.
Khan and the Kerala government had been at loggerheads with each other over a slew of issues, most notably the row over the appointments to state varsities. Both had criticised the other for taking undue advantage of their post and intervening in matters not of their concern. While Khan accused the CPM-led government of behaving like a terrorist organisation and paving way for the slow ruin of education in the state, the latter accused the Governor of harbouring political bias and creating a constitutional crisis to appease BJP and RSS overlords.
Khan had criticised and mocked Pinarayi Vijayan stating the chief minister was arrogant towards the media and claimed he never did so. Reacting to the allegations of Pinarayi Vijayan and other LDF leaders, Khan said that the government should produce evidence to prove the accusation that he had interfered in the university’s affairs. ‘I never tried to interfere in university matters. However, the government tried to control Raj Bhavan’.
He said that the media had reported that he was ‘threatened’ and ‘warned of the dire consequences’. Khan challenged LDF for public debate in the wake of the protest gathering of the ruling dispensation slated for November 15. ‘I am ready to attend the Dharna. Don’t hold it until November 15; arrange it on a day when I am at Raj Bhavan. Let us have a public debate’, he said.