A day following his delivery of the opening and closing paragraphs of his address to the state Assembly, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan commended the Centre and criticized the Pinarayi Vijayan government during his Republic Day parade speech.
Governor Khan and Chief Minister Vijayan have been engaged in a public dispute, a contention that was evident once again on Friday. Although seated side by side, there was no exchange, not even a glance or the customary smiles.
In his speech, Khan expressed reverence for the nation's builders, commemorating those who sacrificed their lives in India's struggle for freedom and those who died protecting the country's freedom and the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
Highlighting India's commitment to the rule of law and faith in the citizens, Khan praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He urged the nation to draw inspiration from its cultural heritage during the Amrit Kaal and emphasized the need for self-confidence to fulfill the dreams of freedom fighters, envisioning India as a superpower committed to global welfare.
Governor Khan discussed India's achievements, including real-time payments, surpassing a 400 billion Dollar export mark, leading in 5G user base over Europe, and gaining a notable position in the global Gross Domestic Product.
Shifting focus to cooperative federalism, he stressed the necessity for support from all stakeholders, including the states. Touching briefly on Kerala's accomplishments, Khan urged the people of the state to foster a healthier democracy and discouraged dissent turning into violence.
Emphasizing education's transformative role, Khan called for autonomous higher education institutions free from external interference. He advocated for a culture of civility, empathy, and dialogue, opposing the use of power as an argument, which, he noted, contradicts the democratic spirit.
After concluding his speech, Khan sat beside Vijayan without acknowledgment. Post-event, Khan departed without the customary farewell, indicating strained relations between the two. All eyes are now on the customary dinner hosted by Khan, wondering if CM Vijayan and his family will attend.
(With Agency Inputs)