Thiruvananthapuram: Former Union minister Arif Mohammed Khan who supported Triple Talaq Bill and abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was on Sunday appointed as the Governor of Kerala.
Mr Khan, who replaces Justice Palanisamy Sat-hasivam, former Chief Justice of India, told reporters in Delhi that it was an opportunity for him to serve the country. “I am fortunate to be born in a country like India, which is so vast and rich in diversity. It's a great opportunity for me to know this part of India, which forms the boundary of the country and is called God’s own country," Mr Khan said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated the governor-designate on the phone and extended a warm welcome.
Backing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quoted Mr Khan and sought Congress's support.
Mr Khan, who was a junior minister under Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, resigned in 1986 protesting the decision to amend the Constitution to nullify a Supreme Court judgment ordering maintenance to Shah Bano from her husband who divorced her.
He left the Congress and joined the opposition ranks. He remained an ardent critic of discriminatory provisions in the Muslim Personal Law.
Along with Mr Khan, the President appointed Kalraj Mishra, presently Governor of Himachal Pradesh, as Governor of Rajasthan, Bhagat Singh Koshyari the Governor of Maharashtra, Bandaru Dattatreya the Governor of Himachal Pradesh and Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Governor of Telangana.
Born 1951 in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, Mr Khan started his political career as a student leader and went on to become a member of the UP legislature in 1977 at the age of 26 as a Bharatiya Kranti Dal candidate.
He later joined the Indian National Congress and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Kanpur and 1984 from Bahraich.
After leaving Congress, he joined the Janata Dal and became Union minister for aviation and energy in the VP Singh cabinet.
He left the Janata Dal to join the Bahujan Samaj Party and again entered the Lok Sabha in 1998 from Bahraich. In 2004, he joined the BJP and unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Kaisarganj.
Though he quit the party in 2007, he supported the BJP after it adopted the law criminalising the instant divorce among Muslims....