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Kerala replacing Punjab as ‘capital of drugs' says Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

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Kochi, Oct 23: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said the state was replacing Punjab as the "capital of drugs" and felt ashamed that the two main sources of revenue of the southern state were lottery and alcohol.

Khan, who is at loggerheads with the Left government over various issues including appointment to universities, said while everyone campaigned against liquor consumption, Kerala was encouraging its use.

Kerala replacing Punjab as ‘capital of drugs says Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

"Here, we have decided that lottery and alcohol is enough for our development. What a shameful situation for a state which has 100 per cent literacy. I, as the head of the state, feel ashamed that the two main sources of revenue of my state are lottery and alcohol. What is a lottery? Has any one of you sitting here ever 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.

Guv Arif Mohammad Khan signs Kerala Lokayukta Act amendment ordinanceGuv Arif Mohammad Khan signs Kerala Lokayukta Act amendment ordinance

Khan, while speaking at a book launch event here, said Kerala was "replacing Punjab as the capital of drugs" because the state promotes the sale of liquor.

"Everybody carries campaigns against liquor consumption. Here liquor consumption is being encouraged. What a shame," Governor said.

In September, the Kerala Governor and state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had traded barbs with the former hitting out at the ruling LDF over the state's revenue generation being largely dependent on lottery and liquor sales.

On Saturday, Khan also raked up the issue of appointment of vice chancellors to various universities in Kerala and said the Supreme Court itself had earlier made it clear that the appointment of the vice chancellors was the responsibility of the Governor.

He said 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 the Kerala ministers who questioned his authority and said a state minister had asked whether a Governor from Uttar Pradesh can understand the education system of Kerala.

"...Yesterday the Supreme Court made it clear. Don't make the same comment about the honourable judges of the Supreme Court because yesterday they gave a judgement against your appointment of VC of Kerala Technical University," Khan said.

The Supreme Court had on Friday quashed the appointment of the vice chancellor of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University in Thiruvananthapuram, terming it bad in law and contrary to UGC regulations.

The court said, as per UGC rules, the search committee constituted by the state should have recommended a panel of not less than three suitable persons among eminent people in the field of engineering science to the chancellor but instead it sent only the name of Dr Rajasree M S.

The bench said the impugned judgment and order passed by the division bench of the high court and the single judge dismissing the writ petition and refusing to issue the writ of quo warranto (a writ or legal action requiring a person to show by what warrant an office is held) declaring the appointment as bad in law and/or illegal and void ab initio are hereby quashed and set aside.

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