Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan and his ministers were slighted during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s three-day visit (February 10-12) to the state, according to a resolution passed in the Assembly on Monday.
This is the first instance of the Assembly passing such a resolution. The House saw uproarious scenes when CPM member A Anandan raised the issue. The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) members strongly opposed this and it led to heated verbal exchanges.
Later, the opposition members staged a walkout. Earlier, intervening in the debate, Achuthanandan said he was not allowed to occupy his room at the Taj Hotel in Kochi, where the PM stayed, on February 10 night.
He said he had to shift to a government guesthouse. Calling it a “big shame”, members of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) said it was an insult to the state. The LDF members added that the chief minister’s name was not inscribed on the plaque unveiled during the inauguration of the new terminal of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
A few members of the ruling coalition asked why Achuthanandan’s picture was not there in an advertisement given to local dailies even though the Congress president Sonia Gandhi figured prominently in it.
Ministers C Divakaran and Elamarom Kareem also spoke of having got the short shrift. The ministers said they were stopped at the gates of the BrahMos aerospace unit when they were accompanying the PM.
Law minister M Vijayakumar said the state would apprise the Centre of its displeasure. Opposition leader and former CM Oommen Chandy said LDF members were raking up a non-issue.