Arif Khan, advocate of reform in Islam, becomes Kerala guv

The newly appointed governor, Arif Khan said, “It’s an opportunity to serve…It is a great opportunity for me to know…God’s own country.”

New Delhi: Arif Mohammed Khan, who became known nationwide for revolting against the Rajiv Gandhi government that had turned a Supreme Court verdict defunct by changing the law governing alimony to divorced Muslim women, has been appointed the governor of LDF-ruled Kerala.

Arif Khan has voiced his support several times for jailing those accused under the triple talaq law, which makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence and provides for a jail term to a Muslim man for the crime.

Over differences in the Shah Bano case in 1986, Arif Khan, a former Congress leader, had walked out of the Rajiv Gandhi government. This year, when the Modi government passed the triple talaq bill to abolish it, Arif Khan asked the Congress to extend its support to the BJP.

On Sunday, after his appointment as the next governor of Kerala by President Ram Nath Kovind, Arif Khan said, “It’s an opportunity to serve. I am fortunate to be born in a country like India which is so vast and rich in diversity. It is a great opportunity for me to know this part of India, which forms the boundary of India and is called God’s own country.”

Recently, the BJP government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was also supported by the newly appointed governor of Kerala. The previously existing Article 370 acknowledged special status of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of autonomy and its ability to formulate laws for the State’s permanent residents.

Speaking to reporters, the governor said, “It doesn’t matter if the State is in alignment or not with the Central government, I hold a constitutional post and I’ll serve my duties towards the people of Kerala.”

Arif Khan, on his relations with the INC, said, “If Rahul Gandhi comes to meet me, I’ll be more than happy to meet him and help him with anything.”

Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the Indian National Congress, was elected as an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad.

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