Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has finally broken his silence over his exclusion from the unveiling of the statue of former CM R Sankar that is being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, 15 December.
Though the organisers had invited the chief minister earlier, SNDP chief Vellappally Natesan and some of the state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders later asked him not to come.
CM Chandy said that the people of Kerala has stood united and sent a strong warning against communal forces after realising that there is an attempt to make the SNDP Yogam a subsidiary outift of the BJP.
"I felt extremely sad when I was told not to attend the function by the organisers who invited me to the event," Chandy 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."
Chandy added that the unveiling of the statue was the first public event attended by PM Modi in the state and not allowing the chief minister from attending the function was a protocol violation.
He said that ex-CM R Sankar had spent his entire life as a Congress worker and also worked ceaselessly to spread the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru.
"R Sankar is our pride, he was a Congress Chief Minister and KPPC President. I considered the opportunity to participate in the statue unveiling function of Shri R Sankar as an honour.
"(He) led the SNDP and SN Trust in spreading Sree Narayana Dharmam. (But) he was never a follower of Jan Sangh or its ideology," he added.
CM Chandy also said that the erudite followers of Sree Narayana Guru will not tolerate moves to make the SNDP a subsidiary outfit of the BJP.
He added that the best homage to the former CM would have been a statue unveiling event where all sections of the society were allowed to attend.
Earlier, the incident had sparked an uproar in the Lok Sabha as Congress and BJP parliamentarians clashed over the event.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that the PM's constitutional position was being used for political vendetta and that Modi had insulted the people of Kerala.
However, Home Minister Rajnath Singh later dismissed the allegations, saying that the Centre has no role in the exclusion of CM Chandy and that the SNDP is responsible for the disinvitation.