Amid a rift with the Pinarayi Vijayan government, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Thursday cut short his budget session speech in the Kerala Assembly, completing the address in just one minute, reading only the last paragraph of the text.
He said: “It is my honour to address this august body of the representatives of the people of Kerala, marking the beginning of the 10th session of the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly. And now I will read the last paragraph.”
He talked about the importance of upholding the legacy of the Constitution and highlighted the values of democracy, secularism, federalism and social justice.
“Let us remember that our greatest legacy lies not in buildings or monuments, but in the respect and regard we show to the priceless legacy of the Constitution of India and the timeless values of democracy, secularism, federalism and social justice,” Arif Mohammed Khan said in his speech.
Article 176 of the Constitution requires the governor to mandatorily address the members of the legislature at the commencement of the first session of each year.
Though the governor reads the speech, it is prepared by the state’s cabinet.
In the address, the governor said that the essence of cooperative federalism is what has kept the country united and strong all these years.
“It is our bounden duty to ensure that this essence is not diluted. Together, as part of this varied and beautiful nation, we will weave the tapestry of inclusive growth and responsible resilience, overcoming all the challenges that are thrown our way,” the governor said.
The Assembly will meet for a total of 32 days before concluding on March 27. The session is mainly intended to pass the 2024-25 Budget.
The Assembly will discuss the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address on January 29, 30, and 31. There will be no sitting from February 6 to 11. The general discussion on the budget will be held from February 12 to 14.
Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan; K Radhakrishnan, Parliamentary Affairs Minister of the state and Speaker AN Shamseer welcomed the governor into the Legislative Assembly.
Arif Mohammed Khan and the cabinet have sparred over a host of issues, including pending bills, various appointments at universities in the state, etc.
The ruling CPI (M) student wing, SFI conducted many protest marches against the governor, alleging that he appointed Sangh Parivar supporters in the universities in a bid to “saffronise” higher education.