Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday accused Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of "misusing" his Chancellor's post to exercise powers that are not vested in him and warned of a strong public opposition against his "anti-democratic" actions.

Pinarayi Vijayan was referring to the Governor's directive to nine Vice Chancellors of various universities to resign from office by 11.30 a.m this morning.

In a hurriedly called press conference, the Chief Minister told mediapersons that the Governor has issued the orders to the Vice Chancellors on the basis of the Supreme Court order against the Kerala Technical University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Rajasree.

Pinarayi VijayanYouTube

The Supreme Court, he said, has directed the Vice Chancellor to be removed as her posting was not in compliance with the UGC guidelines. The Top Court's verdict on KTU Vice-Chancellor was not binding on other Vice Chancellors. The Governor's moves to make higher education subservient to the Hindutva forces would be opposed tooth and nail. The Governor should not end up becoming a laughing stock before society, he added.

All the Kerala Universities, Vijayan said, were highly rated in the country and that all the Vice-Chancellors have top qualifications matching the best in the industry. He said that the Governor as Chancellor seems to be acting on behalf of some destructive forces who are bent on destroying the higher education sector of the state.

He said that the Governor not signing bills passed by the Assembly is "anti-constitutional". The Governor was keeping bills pending leading to inordinate delays, the CM added.

Arif Mohammad Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad KhanIANS

Governor Khan was insulting the Ministers of the state and that he does not have any right to interfere with the academic qualifications of the ministers.

He said that the Governor had addressed Kannur University Vice-Chancellor as 'Criminal' and a highly respected academician of the country as 'Goonda'. He added that the Governor was working as the tool of the 'Sangh Parivar'.

Pinarayi Vijayan said that this move was against the development of the state and that the Governor may have to face public agitation if this anti-state policy is continued.

The Chief Minister also said Kerala was a democratic society and would definitely have to face the protest. He said that the Governor does not miss a single chance to demote the state.

No one should think that a democratically elected government can be made a scarecrow and rule the state from behind. The Governor will have to face a strong opposition against it, the chief minister said.

(With inputs from IANS)