Angered over the exclusion of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from the function of unveiling of R Sankar’s statue in Kollam by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Congress will observe ‘prarthana sangamam’ (prayer meeting) in front of the statue of the former Chief Minister Thiruvananthapuram.
While Modi unveils Sankar’s statue in Kollam, Congressmen, including Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala will be attending the prayer meeting at the same time in Thiruvananthapuram, KPCC President, V M Sudheeran, said on Sunday.
The Kerala Students Union, the student wing of Congress, will also be protesting by waving black flags and wearing black band on their mouths as a mark of protest, its state president V S Joy said in Kozhikode.
RSP MP, N K Premachandran, representing Kollam constituency in the Lok Sabha, said he will not be attending Modi’s function in protest against the exclusion of Chandy from the programme. Kollam Mayor Advocate Rajendra Babu and CPI(M) MLA P K Gurudasan will also boycott the function.
Meanwhile, Vellapally Natesan, General Secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalanayogam (SNDP), organisers of the programme said it was not a government function and hence there were no issues of protocol.
BJP’s state President V Muraleedharan said the Prime Minister had no objection to Chandy attending the function.
A controversy had erupted yesterday over the decision of SNDP, an organisation of backward Ezhava community, to exclude Chandy from attending the function.
Chandy in a press note had stated that he was “deeply saddened” for keeping away from the function following a request of Vellappally Natesan, organiser of the event.
Chandy had said though he should have been present at the function being attended by the Prime Minister and also because Sankar was a former Chief Minister and KPCC chief, he was forced to take the decision to stay away, following the organisers request.
“Natesan had earlier invited me to preside over the function. But, he later requested me over phone not to attend the function as there is protest from some quarters against this. So I decided to stay away from it and I am deeply saddened because of this,” Chandy had said.
Leaders from different political parties have reacted sharply against the SNDP’s decision to exclude Chief Minister from the function.
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