SNDP leader Vellappally Natesan on Saturday asked Kerala CM Oommen Chandy to stay away from an official ceremony to be attended by the PM, reportedly under pressure from the BJP state leadership.
Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan has apparently requested CM Oommen Chandy to stay away from the unveiling ceremony of the statue of former Chief Minister and KPCC Chairman R Shankar scheduled to be held on Dec 15 in Kollam.
Incidentally, it was Natesan himself who had earlier invited Chandy for the ceremony.
In a statement released to the media, Chandy expressed his sorrow at this unusual request from the SNDP leader.
Protocol demanded that as Chief Minister, his presence was required for a function to be graced by the Prime Minister, he said. The fact that R Shankar was a former Chief Minister, as well as the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee Chairman, was an added impetus, Chandy opined.
But since the request to stay away from the ceremony was made by the person who had invited him, Chandy said he was left with no option but to accede to the request, albeit with a heavy heart.
The CM would however be present at the Kochi airport to welcome PM Modi on his arrival.
PM Modi is scheduled to attend the Tri-Services Commander's Conference in Kochi followed by a BJP rally in Thrissur and the unveiling ceremony in Kollam.