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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday lashed out at Governor Arif Mohammed Khan over his statement on alleged nepotism in appointments in the state universities, calling it "absurd". Addressing a press meet here, the Chief Minister urged the Governor to keep the decorum of the position he holds. 

Reacting to Khan's allegations, he asked, "Is this what is meant by the position of a Governor?" He was responding to a query on Khan's statement on Thursday that he will not allow the University Laws Amendment Bill recently passed by the state Assembly, alleging it seeks to legalise illegalities and pave the way for appointment of "unqualified relatives" of staff of the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues. 

Terming as "absurd" the Governor's statement, Vijayan said his government has so far avoided a confrontation with Khan on the issue. "We have not taken a position so far on this issue. But a stage has reached where the limit has been crossed", the CM said. 

The Governor had been attacking the Left Government since the Kannur University's move to appoint Vijayan's Private Secretary's relative in a teaching post there. 

Slamming Khan for targeting him and his personal staff over the issue, Vijayan sought to know what was wrong if the kin of a personal staff gets an appointment in a University if that person is qualified for that post. "Did that person apply for the post asking the Chief Minister to do so?" Vijayan asked. 

If an application is made and if there are some defects in it, let it be examined and those who have committed the error suffer for that, he said. "... What right has he (Governor) got to say that a person cannot apply for a post simply because (he/she) happens to be a kin of a staff member of the Chief Minister?" Vijayan questioned. 

The CM also hit out at the Governor for questioning the practice of erecting billboards of political parties and their youth wings inside university campuses, and sought to know whether he was thinking that the normal functioning of the organisations in the campus could be banned. "I don't know what is happening to him? That is upto himself to look into. Else, somebody who is close to him should look into. What is the intention? Is he thinking that normal functioning of organisations in the campuses could be banned?" Vijayan asked and said such thinking does not suit a matured person. 

He also criticised the Governor for making statements on the governance related issues to the media often, saying it is not the constitutional way to address the matter. 

Noting that the governance has its own process, the CM said, "We never come in the way of that process and if somebody has a different thinking about it, there are Constitutional provisions to address that". "Instead, if you go on making statements at the mikes thrust at you in a serious manner as if you are the authority to speak on such issues, that is not the Constitutional way. I just want to emphasise that," he said. 

Khan, while talking to reporters in Kottayam on Thursday, had also questioned the practice of billboards of political parties being put up inside university campuses, asking "do they pay the university for the same?" Insisting that he cannot be used as a rubber stamp, Khan had also indicated he was against the Lok Ayukta Amendment Bill, also passed by the Assembly recently, saying no one can be a judge in his own cause. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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