While Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was scheduled to arrive at Arpo Arthavam at 12 pm, the organisers were informed only at 1.30 pm that he will not attend.

Kerala CM not to attend Arpo Arthavam advised against being part of it
news Event Sunday, January 13, 2019 - 14:58

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who initiated the Women’s Wall of Resistance to show the state’s commitment to renaissance values and improve the status of women in society, has backed out from the Arpo Arthavam, at the eleventh hour. The CM was scheduled to be the chief guest at the two-day event celebrating menstruation and speaking up against taboos on Sunday.

Pinarayi Vijayayan was slated to arrive at the venue in Kochi at 12 pm on Sunday. However, at 12.30 pm, even as reports of the CM cancelling the event from his schedule emerged, the organisers of the event were clueless. The participants, too, were expecting the CM. While initially the organisers insisted that the Chief Minister will arrive, they later confirmed that he will not attend.

“At 1.30 pm, we received a call from the CPI (M) district committee office in Ernakulam that the CM will not be attending the event. Until then, we were constantly in communication with the police to ensure all security arrangements for him were in place,” a member of the organising committee told TNM. 

Incidentally, Pinarayi Vijayan has four events scheduled for Sunday in Kochi. According to sources in the CM’s office, he will be attending all events except the Arpo Arthavam event.

Sources in the CM office also told TNM that he was advised against going to the event as it was not being organised by any group or organisation in particular. “Moreover, people in the CM’s advisory circles were of the opinion that if in future any of the organisers were embroiled in cases, as in the Kiss of Love instance, that would reflect poorly on the CM himself,” one source said.

Another source added that an intelligence report also advised the CM against going for the event.

The two-day event was inaugurated in Kochi by Avantika, Trupti, Renju and Ananya - the four trans women who entered Sabarimala Temple in December 2018. Dalit activist Rekha Raj, trans woman student Daya Gayathri, former Gujarat DGP RB Sreekumar, CPI(ML)’s PC Unnichekkan and director Pa Ranjith were some of the guest speakers at the event on Saturday. On Sunday, senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for Happy to Bleed and equated the ban on entry of women to Sabarimala temple with the practice of untouchability - was a speaker on Sunday.