The LDF and the CPM state secretariat condemned Khan’s statement, saying he was not doing justice to his position. “The party condemns the governor’s statement on a person who is an academic and historian… He should clarify what kind of crimes the VC has done when he is being termed a criminal,” the CPM secretariat said in a statement. The secretariat also alleged that a coterie is functioning in the governor’s office to conspire against the state government and that the Raj Bhavan should not stoop to the level of a RSS branch. Opposition leader V D Satheesan, meanwhile, demanded a probe into charges levelled by the governor.
Khan was referring to the protest against him during the inauguration of the 80th Indian History Congress at the university. “This vice-chancellor of Kannur university, he has crossed all the limits of decency, academic discipline..Why I called him more than a vice-chancellor a political cadre, during the CAA agitation, he hatched a conspiracy to get me physically attacked,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
“Later on, I received a report from the highest quarters that in Delhi, people know that this conspiracy was hatched in Delhi. He was part of it, because it was he who invited me… Even when the Raj Bhavan asked him to send the report of what he saw on stage, he refused to send it. He is a criminal,” Khan said.
The protestors had – at the 2019 event – raised placards and shouted slogans, and police had to intervene to force them out of the venue. “The shirt of my ADC, Manoj Yadav, was torn and twice they made attempts on me. It was only because of the security that they could not reach me,” he said.
The governor said that in normal course, he has no business to say anything against any vice-chancellor and if he wants to take action, he is capable and has power to do so. On what action he would take when he returns to the state, he said his only intention is to set the house in order. “If these kinds of things, in the opinion of experts, will worsen the sense of discipline in the university, and on that account if I am advised, then I may consider. But not because I want to satisfy my ego. My only plan is to set the house in order,” he said.
Khan also said he is always open to any kind of criticism. “I welcome criticism from even those who are close to me. Because that is what keeps me more careful, straight and law-abiding. So I welcome criticism,” he said. On the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of CM’s private secretary K K Ragesh, that he stayed, Khan asked how a candidate who does not have the necessary qualification even be summoned for an interview. The tussle between Khan and the government had escalated after the university syndicate decided to move legally against the governor’s decision.