KL This Week: Ordinance to Remove Guv as Chancellor; Journalists Protest Guv’s Actions
Image Credit: R Prakash
The Kerala state cabinet meeting held on November 9 decided to remove the Governor from the post of Chancellor in the state-run universities. The government will promulgate an ordinance soon.
Earlier in the week, journalists from Karali and Media One channels were ordered to leave the press meeting convened by the Governor. Political parties and journalist organisations condemned the action. Following the incident, a protest march was held by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) on November 8.
The FIFA World Cup fever has gripped the state as massive cutouts of celebrity football stars are being erected across Kerala. A viral photograph was shared by FIFA’s official Twitter handle as well.
The Students Federation of India (SFI) has won a decisive mandate in the college union elections of Calicut University (CU). The SFI has emerged victorious in 131 of the 174 colleges, which went to polls. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings this week across Kerala.
TUSSLE WITH GOVERNOR
The tussle between the governor and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the state has reached a breaking point. The November 8 cabinet meeting decided to remove the governor from the Chancellor’s post, and the ordinance was sent to Raj Bhavan as per the decision.
The Kalamandalam University has removed the governor from the position of Chancellor with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellors (VC) of nine universities have received a respite from the Kerala High Court. The court postponed to November 17 the hearing of the VCs’ appeal against the chancellor’s instructions to them to demit office; the high court ordered status quo.
The governor has been on a collision path with the elected government by interfering in the functioning of the universities.
FOOTBALL FEVER IN KERALA
The FIFA World Cup, scheduled to commence on November 20 in Qatar, has gripped the state in a football frenzy.
The fans of Brazil, Argentina and Portugal have erected tall cutouts of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the Cherupuzha river in Malappuram district. An image of the scenario was shared by FIFA on Twitter, much to the fans' joy. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan thanked the organisation for the gesture.
The image went viral and concerns were raised about safety. After the intervention of the ministers and MLA, the cutouts were permitted to stay on the river.
INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR WATER STREET SCHEME
The Water STREET (Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic Tourism) project of the Kerala tourism department has received international recognition. The state won the honour for responsible tourism, and the award was received by minister P A Mohammad Riyas in an event held at World Travel Market in London.
The award was presented for protecting water bodies and promoting tourism in Maravanthuruthu of Kottayam district. As many as 18 canals, three rivers and one backwater stretch were cleaned and deepened, with the banks being coir wrapping to encourage cultivation.
The International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) has earlier recognised this achievement.
The ‘Responsible Tourism Mission’ was launched in 2017 during the previous LDF regime to ensure economic, social and environmental responsibilities to empower local communities, including farmers and women.
SFI’S MASSIVE WIN IN CALICUT UNIVERSITY POLLS
The SFI secured impressive victories in the college union elections held in 174 colleges affiliated with the Calicut University. The SFI has emerged as the winner in 131 colleges across Kozhikode, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram and Wayanad districts.
The SFI won in 45 out of 55 colleges in Kozhikode, 25 of the 27 in Thrissur, 30 out of 33 in Palakkad, 24 out of 49 in Malappuram, and seven out of ten in Wayanad district.
The SFI Kerala state committee thanked the student community for the continuous faith put in the organisation. “When the right-wing organisations attempted to communalise the campuses, the SFI took forward the demands of the student community and won the rights through struggles,” the statement of the SFI state committee said.
In contrast, the Kerala Students Union, the Muslim Students Federation and the Akila Bharatha Vidyarthi Parishad finished with much lesser victories than the SFI.
PROTEST AGAINST THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MAYOR
The United Democratic Front (UDF) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors of the Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation are continuing protests demanding the resignation of Mayor Arya Rajendran. A letter from the Mayor, which was addressed to the CPI(M) district secretary seeking recommendations for appointments in the temporary posting of the corporation, has kicked up a storm.
The Mayor has reportedly told the crime branch that the letter's contents were edited, while the letterhead and the seal were original. The department is enquiring about the case even as the high court has issued a notice to the Mayor.
UDF’S MARGINAL GAIN IN LSG BY-ELECTION
The Congress-led UDF won 15 of the 29 seats that went for by-elections in the Local Self Governments (LSG). The ruling LDF won 12 seats, while the BJP won two seats.
The LDF won the district and block panchayat wards up for grabs, while the UDF wrested a few of the gram panchayat and municipal wards from the LDF.
MAHATMA GANDHI STATUE VANDALISED IN KOLLAM
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Kottarakara in Kollam district has been damaged by miscreants. The head of the statue was cut off by unknown persons before the unveiling that was scheduled on November 14.
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