Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said the state was replacing Punjab as the “drug capital” and felt embarrassed that the southern state’s two main sources of revenue were lottery and liquor.
Khan, who is at loggerheads with the Left government on various issues including university appointments, said while everyone was campaigning against alcohol consumption, Kerala was encouraging its use.
“Here, we decided that the lottery and alcohol are enough for our development. What a shameful situation for a country that has 100 percent literacy. I, as the head of the state, am ashamed that the two main sources of income of my state are the lottery and alcohol. What is a lottery? Have any of you sitting here bought a lottery ticket? Only very poor people buy lottery tickets. You are robbing them. You are making your people addicted to alcohol,” Khan said.
Khan, speaking at a book launch event here, said Kerala is “replacing Punjab as the drug capital” as the state promotes liquor sales.
“Everyone is conducting campaigns against alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is encouraged here. What a shame,” the governor said.
In September, Kerala governor and state chief Pinarayi Vijayan traded barbs in a first strike to the ruling LDF over the state’s heavy dependence on lottery and liquor sales for revenue generation.
On Saturday, Khan also raised the issue of appointment of vice-chancellors in various universities in Kerala and said the Supreme Court itself had earlier made it clear that the appointment of vice-chancellors was the responsibility of the governor.
He said that the state government has no role in it and if the government passes any law, it should be in accordance with the provisions of the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations.
Khan also attacked ministers in Kerala who questioned his authority and said a minister of state had asked if the governor from Uttar Pradesh could understand Kerala’s education system.
“…Yesterday the Supreme Court made it clear. Don’t make the same comment about the Hon’ble Supreme Court judges because yesterday they gave a verdict against your appointment as VC of Kerala Technical University,” Khan said.
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the appointment of the vice-chancellor of the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University in Thiruvananthapuram, calling it bad in law and against UGC regulations.
The court said that as per UGC rules, the search committee set up by the state should have recommended to the chancellor a panel of not less than three suitable persons from among eminent people in the field of engineering science, but instead sent only the name of Dr. Rajasree . MISS.
The bench said that the impugned judgment and order passed by the high court division and single judge dismissing the writ petition and refusing to issue a writ quo warranto (a writ or legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant the office is held) declaring the designation as bad in law and/or illegal and void ab initio are hereby set aside and set aside.