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Kerala CM at Delhi protest

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Kerala CM at Delhi protest

In his speech, Vijayan also took a dig at Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, saying that he spends very little time in the state and was mostly outside.

“If at all he comes to Kerala, he does not have time to read out the entire Governor’s address in the assembly. But, he has time to sit on the road and create a scene,” Vijayan mocked, referring to a recent sit-in on the road held by Khan.

Vijayan said that there have also been instances of governors in their role as chancellors of universities acting on the behest of their political masters in matters related to the institutions of higher education in all opposition-ruled states.

“Interests and statutes of the states are being sidelined in this regard. Rather than consulting the state governments, even on matters related to state-funded universities, governors have made political interferences as Chancellors (of universities). In Kerala too, the same is happening,” he alleged.

In an apparent reference to the Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala, which has alleged that the protest is being held with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Vijayan said that the agitation is not politically motivated. “This protest is against the denial of what is rightfully ours.”

“Isn’t it a fact that our borrowings have been limited and that our grants have been denied? How is it politically motivated to point it out?” he asked.

The Marxist veteran said there were ongoing efforts by certain sections to depict the genuine demands of the states as an issue of the north-south divide. “It is totally untrue, unfounded, and baseless. Ours is a democratic protest against the undoing of the federal structure and the sheer discrimination against the states, irrespective of north-south considerations,” he said.

He said that February 8, 2024, will be a “red letter day” in the history of the Republic of India.

“I hope that today’s gathering will go a long way in reaffirming our resolve to strengthen our states and, thereby, our country. Let us hope that more states and opposition parties will join hands in this democratic struggle,” he said, concluding his speech.

Earlier in the day, the Kerala CM, LDF MPs, MLAs, and senior Left front leaders marched to Jantar Mantar from Kerala House in the heart of New Delhi, braving the cold winter morning.