‘Has any governor taken such measures?’ Kerala edu minister as VCs asked to quit

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan’s directions to vice chancellors of nine universities to resign has led to a huge row in the state with political parties up in arms. As the ruling Left Democratic Fund (LDF) announced a series of protests, the state’s education minister said the governor’s direction has created an “unfortunate situation”.

Stressing that she condemns the move, R Bindu, Kerala’s Minister of Higher Education, asked: “Has any governor in the country taken such measures?”

“This can be seen as an attempt to interfere in government activities. Our universities are making exceptional achievements,” she further pointed out, news agency ANI reported, with the ruling party pitted against the governor in a fresh stand-off.

The nine VCs have been asked to quit by 11:30 am on Monday, Governor Khan’s office said in a tweet. The Kerala governor has cited a Supreme Court order for taking the decision.

University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kannur University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Shree Shankaracharya University of Sanskrit, University of Calicut and Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University are the nine varsities that have been mentioned in the list that was posted along with the tweet.

Meanwhile, the LDF is planning demonstrations against the direction as it lashed out saying that Governor Khan was “trying to implement Sangh Parivar agenda” in state universities. “The LDF will hold protest meetings in every district headquarters, and a big rally will be conducted outside the Raj Bhawan on November 15,” said Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) state secretary M V Govindan and CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.

On Friday, the top court had cancelled the appointment of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University V-C Dr Rajasree M S, citing violation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms.

(With inputs from ANI)