Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who has been at loggerheads with the ruling LDF government over various issues, including the Citizenship Amendment Act, made it clear on Thursday he was not a "rubber stamp."
The remarks were made by Khan a day after a section of the media reported he had allegedly refused to sign the ordinance on the Local Self Government ward re-organisation, which had recently received the cabinet nod.
"I have to apply my mind. I have to take my time. The file is with me. I will take some time to make up my mind on what to do about it," he told reporters at the airport.
Khan had not signed the ordinance with respect to the amendments to Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994 to increase the number of constituencies in Local Self Governments. The ordinance proposes to amend sections under the Kerala Panchayati Raj (KPR) Act and Kerala Municipality Act in order to increase the number of members by one in committees and councils of panchayats, municipalities and corporations. This was planned to be done according to the population status as per the 2011 Census.
The Governor said on Thursday that he had only raised certain queries (with regard to the ordinance) and the Constitution expects him to apply his mind to ensure that the process of ordinance was not used for some extraneous purposes.
"I want to be satisfied. I don't want to argue. I have raised certain questions. Because these provisions, arrangements, they have a sanctity about themselves. You cannot do these things in installments. I have raised only certain questions...So I have to take take my time.
"The Constitution expects me to apply my mind. And to ensure that the process of ordinance is not used for some extraneous purposes," Khan said.
The Governor said he had also raised certain questions about the desirability of having an ordinance when the Assembly was going to meet in a few days time.
"Recently, a senior leader said, he appointed someone because of their ethnicity. The very oath which is prescribed by the Constitution asking to do good to all manner of people without ill-will and affection," he said.
"I consider myself under the law and nobody else is above the law. Law will have to be respected, enforced and clearly I am not a rubber stamp," he added.