: P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, former State president and national executive committee member of Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP), alleged here on Wednesday that the State government was surrendering to certain religious extremist groups in delaying a decision to erect the statue of two celebrated Malayalam filmstars of yore — Sathyan and Prem Nazeer — in Thiruvananthapuram.

Talking to reporters at the Press Club here on Wednesday, Mr. Sreedharan said though the government had entrusted the job to two renowned artists and had allocated Rs.40 lakh in the last budget for this purpose, it was understood to have frozen its plans yielding to pressure from certain Muslim groups. “Succumbing to such regressive forces, especially on matters like this, is not a good trend,” said Mr. Pillai.

The BJP leader reminded that the allocated amount would lapse in three months if the project was not executed.