ON KERALA’S INITIAL SUCCESS
Kerala was the first state to receive a Covid-19 affected patient in the country. By adhering to strict surveillance, contact tracing, testing, treatment and stringent quarantine, we could attain the highest patient recovery rate and one of the lowest number of Covid deaths.
Though the situation has changed of late, with daily figures crossing 5,000, Kerala’s track record in containing the infection is commendable.
The Kerala success can be attributed to high literacy and a robust system of healthcare, built and improved over time. These factors had helped Kerala attain a high human development index in early 1970s, despite having low per capita income.
ON FRESH UPSURGE IN COVID CASES
There are many reasons. As you know, we have a large number of Keralites working in other states and foreign countries.
Among the infected persons, a large number consisted of those who came from outside Kerala. Despite the proactive measures of our health fraternity, we have experienced community spread in some areas. We have also seen that the severity of the virus has increased in the southern states, mostly due to mutation.
However, we should also consider the fact that with utmost care, we could conduct public examinations quite safely.
ON YOUTH RADICALISATION
The Union government has clarified in Parliament that the alleged UN report on Kerala having radicalised the largest number of youth to join outfits like ISIS, is not factual.
However, we have had some cases of youth proceeding to join such outfits. You are aware about radical organisations using the Internet to recruit volunteers. Kerala being a 100% literate state, youngsters generally have access to Internet and some of them become victims of the designs of these campaigns.
ON DIFFERENCES WITH CM VIJAYAN T
o the contrary, I have most cordial relations with the CM and ministers. On several occasions, I have appreciated the initiatives of the state government, particularly their fight against Covid. I am conscious of my duty and the oath I have taken to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and law.
I have the right to be consulted, give counsel and encourage the government in doing more and more good for people. On the question of CAA, my opinion was different particularly on challenging the central law without informing the governor, a requirement under the ‘Rules of Conduct of Business’ but since this matter is now sub-judice, we should wait for the judicial verdict.
ON THE ROLE OF GOVERNOR
The office of governor is definitely not designed to undermine the elected government. It is about ensuring that the business of the government is conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
To ensure effective functioning of democratic institutions, we have a system of checks and balances and sometimes opinions may differ but there is no question of conflict.
The strength of democracy is that we can always find a middle ground and strike harmony. I have the best of relations with my government and on a number of occasions, they ask me to step in to resolve issues where they feel my intervention can be of some help.