Union minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan moved a privilege motion against Superintendent of Police in Kerala Yathish Chandra alleging that the police officer had been disrespectful to him. The minister was referring to a stand off in Sabarimala on November 21 between him and the police officer who was in charge of security.
Detailing his version of what transpired on that day, the Minister said, "When I reached Nilakkal, 22 kms away from Sabarimala, I was told that private vehicles were not allowed to go beyond that limit. The pilgrims were forced to take government buses to go to Pamba. I witnessed the pain and anguish of the pilgrims, including senior citizens and children. Some devotees were forced to go by govt buses but unfortunately they did not have much money and because of that they walked. In order to give them relief, I enquired the policemen about the reason for the govt buses allowed and private buses not allowed. There was no answer for that."
Pon Radhakrishnan then described the tussle with the officer and asked the Speaker to allow him to move a privilege motion. "The IPS officer in charge of that area, Yathish Chandra, he intervened and he told me that private buses will not be allowed because there was a landslide earlier also and landslide was expected in the future also. Then he told that private buses will not be allowed because of congestion in Pamba. I asked him whether youâ€™re allowing the private government buses. There is no congestion because of that. If you allow the private buses, how can the congestion come there? For that, there was no proper response. Yathish Chandra asked in a harsh tone whether I would take the responsibility if something untoward happened. I construed this as a mark of disrespect to an elected representative of this House. So, I request you, Madam, to allow me to raise question on this privilege motion," he said.
On November 21, the Minister had arrived in a government vehicle at the base camp in Nilakkal. Though police gave his vehicle permission to go towards Pamba, they denied permission for the private cars in his entourage. This lead to a verbal altercation between BJP members and Yathish Chandra.
Following this, Pon Radhakrishnan took a KSRTC bus upto Pamba from where he climbed up to Sabarimala and offered his prayers.
When the issue had become a huge controversy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had come in support of the officer and alleged that the BJP was obstructing a police officer from doing his duty.