Kerala governor asks CM Vijayan to remove finance minister from state cabinet

In a letter to the chief minister Pinarayi Viajyan on Wednesday, Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan asked that Finance Minister KN Balagopal be dismissed from the state cabinet.

The governor said he had no choice but to inform the chief minister that Balagopal had “ceased to enjoy his pleasure”. He also sought appropriate action against the minister.

After the governor claimed that Balagopal exploited regionalism and provincialism in his speech at a university on October 19, the decision was made just a few days later.

In his letter, the governor wrote, “Reported statements of (Kerala FM) KN Balagopal are a violation of the oath I administered to him. A minister who deliberately violates the oath and undermines India’s unity and integrity cannot continue to be my pleasure.”

“I hope you consider the matter with the seriousness it deserves and take constitutionally appropriate action,” the governor further wrote.

Earlier, Khan said, “The finance minister, whose main source of revenue is alcohol and lottery, is raising the question whether the governor, who is from UP, can understand the Kerala education system… But I would advise him not to say the same thing about the Supreme Court judges.”

The governor’s order to take action against the finance minister has reportedly been refused by Vijayan.

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