Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of conspiring to harm him physically, The Hindu reported.

The governor made the comments after activists of the Students Federation of India allegedly disrupted his convoy when he was travelling to the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

“[The protestors] have come before the car, hit my car from both sides,” Khan told reporters. “Will [the police] allow anybody to come near the car of the chief minister? They [protestors] were all sitting in the car. Which means the police knew. But what can the poor police do when the chief minister is directing them? When I got out of my car, [the protestors] got into their jeeps and ran away...”

He alleged: “So, it is the chief minister…I am clearly saying that he [the chief minister] is conspiring, sending these people to hurt me physically…The goons have been given charge of the roads of Thiruvananthapuram. The constitutional machinery seems to be collapsing [in Kerala].”

The activists of the Students’ Federation of India, the student wing of the Communist Party of India, were protesting Khan’s alleged attempt to add nominees from the Sangh Parivar to the Senates of state-funded universities, The Hindu reported. The activists waved black flags at Khan’s car.

A video of the incident posted on social media showed protestors on the carriageway seemingly surrounding the governor’s car. The police are seen pushing them away.

Opposition parties such as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the protestors.

The Hindu quoted VD Satheesan, the leader of the Opposition, as alleging that the protestors must have waylaid Khan with the approval from the chief minister.

Khan and the Vijayan government have for long been at odds, especially over the governor allegedly stymying legislative and executive work.

In November, the Kerala government moved the Supreme Court against Khan’s delay in considering eight bills waiting for his assent. The state government argued that the delay by Khan threatens to subvert the foundations of the Constitution and restrict the rights of the people of the state.

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