Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of orchestrating an attack on him, alleging conspiracy for physical harm.
The accusation came after activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the ruling CPI(M), allegedly attacked the Governor’s vehicle while he was inside.
Khan, visibly angry, claimed that CM Vijayan conspired to send people to physically harm him.
According to the Governor, his vehicle was surrounded, and protesters, allegedly directed by the CM, waved black flags and hit the vehicle.
“Is it possible that if a CM programme is going on, cars with protesters will be allowed there? Will they (police) allow anybody to come near the CM’s car? Here, the cars of the protesters were standing there and police pushed them into their cars and they ran away.
“So, it is the CM, I am saying it clearly, who is conspiring and sending these people to hurt me physically. The ‘goondas’ have taken charge of the roads of Thiruvananthapuram,” news agency PTI quoted Khan’s allegations.
According to a Raj Bhavan source, black flags were waved at Khan at three places, and on two occasions, his car was hit by the protesters. Police, on the other hand, said that the Governor’s vehicle was blocked by the SFI activists only at one place and seven people of the student outfit have been arrested.
The Congress, UDF opposition, and BJP also accused CM Vijayan of being behind the alleged attack. They alleged that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state.
Opposition leader VD Satheesan called it a historic first in the state’s history and questioned potential attempt to murder charges against SFI activists. The Congress demanded stern action against police officers allegedly involved in the incident.
BJP state chief K Surendran claimed that the incident occurred with police connivance, indicating a breakdown of law and order in the state. He alleged that the Left party resorted to attacking the Governor due to recent Supreme Court verdicts.
This follows a similar incident on Sunday when SFI activists waved black flags at the Governor near Vazhuthacaud. Khan was on his way to an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Governor Khan and the state government have been at loggerheads over making decisions on pending bills passed in assemblies.