Congress, VS Achuthanandan slam insult to Oommen Chandy
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress Working Committee member A. K. Antony on Saturday said the organisers of R. Sankar statue unveiling ceremony asking Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to keep off the function after extending him an invite to preside the function on December 15 has come as a shocker.
The SNDP decision was unprecedented and an unpardonable act. "First you invite him and then humiliate him. It is an insult," he told mediapersons.
"I don't think the organisers can take such a decision unilaterally. Who compelled them to keep the chief minister out? People have the right to know since it concerns the chief minister of the state. There is no need to conceal the facts," he said.
The Congress veteran said people would want to know about the dominant force at whose behest the organisers told the chief minister to keep off.
Antony recollected that in 1977 as chief minister, he had invited the then President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy to Kollam for unveiling Sankar's statue.
"The president was flooded with telegrams and letters against taking part in the function. Ignoring the protests, the president came and unveiled the statue," he added.
Antony said the prime minister also owed a clarification to the people of the state on why the chief minister was excluded from the function.
Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan said the decision to keep out the chief minister from the function amounted to arrogance shown towards the people of the state. "Vellapally (Natesan) is installing RSS Sankar in Kollam," he said.
KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran said it was a big insult to the state. He said the communal and fascist forces had compelled Vellapally to take the decision.
Vellapally has reached a stage where he cannot take independent decisions. He has reduced himself to the level of an RSS slave and it is high time he quit as SNDP general secretary.
Home minister Ramesh Chennithala sought to know whether the BJP was behind the chief minister's exclusion. It is not right to first invite the chief minister to a function being attended by the prime minister and later cancel it unilaterally.
Is it because of the pressure from the BJP? "He is the chief minister of the state and excluding him after inviting and printing his name in the invitation card is absolutely wrong."
The BJP which came under attack from various quarters for their alleged role in keeping the chief minister out, distanced itself from the controversy.
"It is purely a SNDP Yogam function. They have decided who should be invited and who should not be. We have no role," said party state vice-president M. T. Ramesh.
P. Gopalankutty Master, state secretary and Pranthakaryavahak of RSS, said he was not aware of the chief minister's exclusion.
The RSS and BJP had placed three demands before the prime minister: unveiling of R Sankar statue by him, naming central university after Sree Narayana Guru and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport be named after Ayyankali.
CPM state secretariat member Anathalavattom Anandan said Vellapally was acting like an RSS activist.
In another controversy, local MLA A. A. Azeez said despite being invited, his name did not figure in the invitation card. "The name of former MLA P. K. Gurudasan figures in the list but not mine. I think it has been done deliberately," he said.
Download the all new Deccan Chronicle app for Android and iOS to stay up-to-date with latest headlines and news stories in politics, entertainment, sports, technology, business and much more from India and around the world.