Alleging a false campaign against him, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan Monday barred journalists from CPI(M)-backed Kairali TV and Jamaat-e-Islami-backed MediaOne TV from taking part in his interaction with the media in Kochi.
Before starting the press conference, Khan said, “I hope there is no Kairali here, I hope there is no MediaOne here.” When a journalist from MediaOne TV indicated his presence, Khan said, “Please get out.” When he did not comply, Khan repeated, “Please go away.”
Then he turned to another side to ensure that the representative of Kairali TV had also quit the venue. “They (the organisations) were lowering the dignity of the office, despite repeated reminders from the Raj Bhavan,” he said.
Attacking MediaOne TV, Khan said, “You are settling scores with me on the Shah Bano case. You are carrying a campaign against me based on total falsehood.” Khan was a part of the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet in 1986 when the Union government had decided to reverse the Supreme Court’s Shah Bano verdict granting alimony to a divorced Muslim woman.
To Kairali TV Khan said, “Kairali is not a media organisation. They are masquerading as the media but are basically political persons. They were not invited, there might have been a mistake. They are carrying out a campaign based on falsehood.”
Khan started talking to the media only after he had ensured that the representatives of the two media houses had vacated his premises.
He later said he is not against criticism. “Any ordinary person can criticise me but there should be a certain limit. Can any minister criticise the chief minister? You cannot criticise those who have appointed you. If I want to criticise the PM, I have to quit the office,” he said.