Kollam: SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan will preside over the unveiling event of R.Shankar’s statue in Kollam on December 15, instead of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
According to reports, the chief minister’s name was removed from the plaque of the statue yesterday night.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala alleged the chief minister was excluded by the organisers from the event owing to pressure from the BJP’s central leadership.
“The move is an insult to the state and the chief minister,” the minister said.
A major controversy erupted yesterday following the organisers asking chief minister Oommen Chandy to keep off the event.
Chandy, in a statement, said SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan had requested him over phone to cooperate by staying away from the function.
"Shankar is a former chief minister and former president of the Congress party and the protocol also is such that when the prime minister is in the state, the chief minister should take part but since the organisers who invited me requested me to stay away, I am not taking part," the chief minister said.
He, however, said that he will be in Kochi on December 14 to receive Modi and he will also be there at the airport here to see him off and also meet him along with the entire cabinet.
Modi is scheduled to arrive in Kerala on his first visit to the state after taking over as prime minister. On December 15, he will unveil the statue of R. Sankar at Kollam.
Sankar was the former Kerala chief minister and also president of the Congress party.