Asking the PM to break his silence on the last-minute withdrawal of the Kerala CM's invitation to the unveiling ceremony of former Chief Minister R Shankar's statue at Kollam, Oommen Chandy expressed surprise of how a public function could have suddenly been transformed into a private one overnight.
Text of letter
Dear Shri.Narendra Modiji,
I am sorry that widespread controversy have arisen in connection with my absence in todays programme at Kollam to unveil the statue of late Kerala Chief Minister Shri.R.Sanker by your goodself. It is also unfortunate that Union Ministers Mr.Rajnath Singh and Mr.Rajiv Pratap Rudy has misled the Parliament in their reply to the adjournment motion in the house without even verifying the facts from myself or my office.
I was invited for the unveiling ceremony of the statue of Shri.R.Sanker by Shri.Vellappally Nadesan, chief organiser of the function and General Secretary of SNDP Yogam and I readily agreed and accepted the invitation. Notice and plaque for the function was prepared showing the meeting will be presided over by me.
On 11th evening Mr.Vellappally Nadesan informed me through Mr.K.Babu, Minister that intelligence agencies have informed him that there will be some protest in the meeting if I attend the function. I verified with the State Police intelligence and they were not aware of any such report from any intelligence agency.
Again on 12th December Mr.Vellappally Nadesan conveyed to me to keep away from the function and I have no option other than to abide by his request. When PMO contacted me over phone, I had conveyed this personally. And on 12th by 1 PM my office issued a press release showing that I will not be attending the Kollam programme as requested by organisers. In the evening by 5PM, in reply to repeated queries from PMO, our State Protocol informed PMO that I will not be attending the Kollam programme. It had never said that my absence is due to my inconvenience as said by Mr.Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Parliament.
I don’t know why the organisers had withdrawn the invitation extended to me in which I am obliged to attend as Chief Minister and it is the first public programme of the Prime Minister in his first visit to Kerala. Later the organisers said that it is a private function and they have the right to invite or not to invite guests. I fully agree with that. But after inviting me and including my name in the notice and plaque of the progarmme, Mr.Vellappally Nadesan was forced to withdraw the invitation due to unknown reasons.
All political parties except BJP and media have said that this is an insult to the people of Kerala. Usually I keep away from controversies, and it is surprisingly that PMO hasn’t intervened to avoid controversies. I wish to know what would have been your reaction if such an incident happened in Gujarat while you were the Chief Minister.
I am sending this letter to convey the truth and clear any misunderstanding.