Chandy excused himself from the event: Centre

December 14, 2015 02:27 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 04:19 pm IST - New Delhi

The controversy over Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s no-show in at least two functions in the State where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to be present got a new twist with the NDA government categorically stating in Parliament that it was in fact the Chief Minister who had excused himself from attending the events.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had nothing to do with the absence of Mr. Chandy, and even referred to a letter written by the Kerala government stating that he would not be attending the meeting.

The letter referred to by Mr. Rudy was later distributed by the BJP wherein State protocol officer T.P. Vijaykumar, in a letter dated December 12 addressed to an undersecretary in the PMO, has stated that the Chief Minister would not be attending either the unveiling of the statue of former Kerala Chief Minister R. Shankar in Kollam and a ceremony to pay respects to Sree Narayana Guru to be held in Varkala the same day.

Mr. Chandy had said that Ezahava community leader Velapally Natesan, who has announced a new political party after having served as general secretary of the Shree Narayana Guru Dharma Paripalana Yogam, had asked him to stay away from the second function at the behest of the PMO. This morning he tweeted: “It is not a personal insult. Kerala was insulted when its CM was denied the right to participate in an event where the PM is attending.”

He said the letter had been sent after it had been indicated to him that he wasn’t welcome. Congress MP from Kollam N.K. Premchandran too did not attend the function in his constituency because of the absence of Mr. Chandy.

In a letter to Mr. Modi, he said: “Unfortunately, due to inexplicable reasons, the Chief Minister of Kerala who was to preside over the function, has been asked to abstain from the gathering. This turn of events at the eleventh hour is regrettable and needs to be perceived as an insult to the august office of the Chief Minister. Consequently, I wish to inform you, with regret, my inability to attend the function in Kollam on December 15.”

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